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Kenneth Keaton
American Record Guide, January 2018

The singer, Antonia Gentile, has a pleasant, light voice that fits with guitar perfectly…

I don’t know anything quite like these works. Each is worth knowing, and if none is especially profound, it’s all charming and enjoyable. Anyone who works with groups of guitars should know these pieces—and anyone interested in guitar with other instruments will find much to prize here. © 2018 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide



Stuart Sillitoe
MusicWeb International, December 2017

The recorded sound is good, with all the performers acquitting themselves well, …making this an entertaining and enjoyable disc. © 2017 MusicWeb International Read complete review



David Denton
David's Review Corner, August 2017

Among Stephen Dodgson’s composition pupils at London’s Royal College of Music was John Williams, and a subsequent meeting with Julian Bream changed his life. To that point, Dodgson had produced a modest output of compositions in many genres, but these joint influences of an up-and-coming and then a legendary guitarist brought the instrument to his attention, and made him one of the most prolific and highly regarded guitar composers of the Twentieth Century. But even more than that—as can be seen from the above heading—he took the guitar into a new world where it became part of ‘conventional’ chamber music, combining with singers and instrumentalists. The present disc spans over forty years of his life, and represents his continued passion for exploring the instrument’s many tonal qualities, while—by and large—employing a traditional upbringing in the world of tonal music. Chronologically, beginning in 1963 with the instrument used as the accompaniment to a high voice—here the soprano, Antonia Gentile—in the Four Poems of John Clare. Harmonically, it is the most adventurous score on the disc, the words of very mixed feelings, ending with a fun story of The Fox. She is also the soloist in Hymnus de Sancto Stephano composed ten years later as a religious piece for soprano and guitar quartet. The following year he combined a solo violin and guitar ensemble in seven short and vibrant pieces to form the Divertissement. Rather more conventional, the brief Intermezzo from 1984 calls for a guitar quartet. The disc opens in 1996 with a guitar quartet imitating bells in Change-Ringers; my favourite track Roundelay combining cello and a guitar quartet, with the longest work, The Selevan Story from 1992 requiring a flute, violin, guitar duo and guitar ensemble. I am sure Dodgson would have lavished praise on the performances captured in a recording of an exalted level of perfection. © 2017 David’s Review Corner





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