STEPHEN DODGSON (1924-2013): Chamber Music, Vol. 2 - Piano Quintet No. 1 in C, Piano Quintet No. 2, String Quintet.
Catalogue Number: 04S057
Label: Toccata Classics
Reference: TOCC 0357
Description: Another welcome volume of Dodgson's eloquent, beautifully crafted and articulated, always totally accessible chamber output, with its echoes of Janáček, Britten and Shostakovich, but very much in the composer's own idiom. The First Piano Quintet was written in 1966, when Dodgson was much involved in writing accompanying music for BBC Radio historical dramas, which perhaps goes some way toward explaining the expansive four-movement work's sense of character and narrative. The Second was composed for the turning of the millennium, thirty-three years later, and both the piece's moods and harmony seem to suggest a greater degree of uncertainty than the earlier work, with some very Janáček-like harmonic twists and textures. In between came the large String Quintet, perhaps the most individual work here. The three substantial movements - perfectly conceived for exactly this ensemble, with all parts in the richly woven counterpoint finely judged - are imbued with a certain melancholy and ambiguity, as though the composer were working through some uncertainties and compositional experimentation in his own right while writing the piece. Nonetheless it remains approachable and emotionally rich (perhaps the more so because of its greater level of introspection). Tippett Quartet, Emma Abbate (piano), Susan Monks (cello).