STEPHEN BEVILLE - COMPOSITION REVIEWS

PROLOGUE - STUDY FOR STRING QUARTET

'The detailed focus that Beville applies to pitches and their reployment in musical space is really interesting, because the result is genuinely expressive while avoiding conventional gestures and textures....In this his interests seem not so far removed from a composer like (Milton) Babbit, with his emphasis on presenting relationships whose totality ramifies throughout the musical space in all its dimensions - in time, register, rhythm, duration and timbre.'

Justin Conolley, composer, 07/1998

'.....Like Webern, an immense range of thought is concentrated within  a compressed but intense time-scale and texture....'

Richard Steinitz, founding director of the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, 07/1998

EPICYCLE

'Beville's Epicycle (2000) for chamber orchestra, received a typically committed performance tonight....Epicycle presented some wonderful timbres with strong piano and brass parts while the strings were mainly colouristic.'

RNCM New Ensemble Concert Review,Seen and Heard, Music on the Web, 26/06/2000

 

'Moving into the Baroque sense is to formally describe and point out Stephen Beville's Epicycle. This piece is not only strict in four structurally related sections, but every new section is announced by a mighty tam-tam. Beville's intensive, dense melodic lines filled the form-corset.'

Badische Neueste Nachrichten, 07/06/2004

'It's an impressive piece....I particularly like the writing for wind and strings.'

Stephen Newbould, Artistic director, Birmingham Contemporary Music Group, 08/2005

THE ECHOING SKY

'The Echoing Sky by Stephen Beville combines piano and live electronics. The piano is recorded live and mixed with long delay or extreme echo. The echoes encircled the listener and were built up and passed around the hall from loudspeakers. Beville's time concept is harmonic and was complimented by the piano part.'

Badische Neueste Nachrichten, 04/2002

 

THREE MICHELANGELO PIECES

'Outstanding pianism was again evident in Beville's Three Michelangelo Pieces, with the titles 'The Rebellious Slave, 'The Awakening Slave' and 'Atlas'. They were full of interesting ideas, logical and idiomatic for the instrument and impressive for the listener.'

Badische Neueste Nachrichten, 30/06/2003

'Simply worked, but harmonious are Stephen Beville's Michelangelo Pieces for live electronics and piano. Clear piano motifs repeat themselves and are treated playfully and developed. Then comes the electronics; first as punctual hall-echo, then in every miniature with increasingly strong differentiation that nonetheless related well to the pianist's role.  Beville was cautious and tasteful with the technical possibilities; electronics and piano amounted to a unique and meditative sound picture.'

Badische Neueste Nachrichten, 03/07/2004

FASHIONISM - SCENES OF YOUTH

 

'Electic guitar, percussion, piano and electronics formed an easy-going band - only the Grooves were a little extra complex than usual, and the tone material was original.....A Bear-biting statement  with high fun factor....It was a pleasure throughout.'​

Badische Neueste Nachrichten, 03/07/2004

 

 

SCENES FROM DREAMS

'Beville enchanted his audience with the German premiere of five pieces from his 2006 composition Scenes from Dreams for piano.'

Wetterauer Zeitung, 21/04/2010

MONODRAMA

 

"Monodrama" - a unique experience not to be missed!
 

In the style of a Thespian Greek Drama, the dialogue and action are all presented by a single actor, in this case a violinist with just his violin and bow with which to communicate with the audience.  Stephen's hand-written score was fabulously complicated. In fact, the photocopy of the original was well covered by revisions and detailed instructions. The 'voices' were endlessly fascinating. Some were strident and emotional, while others whispered in the harmonic range. Plucking and using the back of the bow introduced what appeared to be quite distinct characters and at one point the bow was abandoned completely - a chair had been placed ready. As Jonathan Storer slowly made his way along the huge display of music, the audience followed with rapt attention to every detail. An unforgettable classical tale, beautifully performed.

 

Classical Journey, 30/05/2017