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Sheet music for Ronald Stevenson
A Set of Tunes for Young Folk to play. Composed by Ronald Stevenson (1928-). This edition: Saddle stitching. Sheet music. Piano. 8 pages. Schott Music #ED 10960. Published by Schott Music (HL.49013454).
Composed by Ronald Stevenson (1928-). Published by United Music Publishing (UM.12700).
Guitar - advanced
Guitar Solo. Composed by Ronald Stevenson (1928-). This edition: Folding. Sheet music. Gitarren-Archiv (Guitar Archive). 4 pages. Schott Music #GA 222. Published by Schott Music (HL.49010763).
By Ronald Stevenson. By Stevenson / Gershwin / Bach. Classical. Listening CD, 1 disc. Published by Naxos (NX.APR5630).
Composed by Ronald Stevenson (1928-). Post-1900. Book Only. Novello & Co Ltd. #MUSNOV100172. Published by Novello & Co Ltd. (HL.14026150).
Composed by Ronald Stevenson (1928-). Post-1900. Book Only. Novello & Co Ltd. #MUSNOV100202. Published by Novello & Co Ltd. (HL.14007470).
The most profound influences on Stevenson’s music have been the twin (and very
different) examples of Busoni and Percy Grainger, the power of folk music
(especially Scottish) and the grand tradition of pianism and virtuosity
descending from Liszt through Busoni, Medtner,
Paderewski and Rachmaninoff.
Selected list of works
(Stevenson’s works run into the hundreds, especially in
piano music and songs - this list concentrates on the larger items and those
that are published
Concertante works: Fantasia for piano and string orchestra, 1946; Piano
Concerto No.1 ‘A Faust Triptych’, 1959-60; Simple Variations on Purcell’s
Scotch Tune for clarinet and string orchestra, 1967; Vocalise Variations on
themes from Les Troyens for mezzo-soprano and orchestra, 1969; Piano Concerto
No.2 ‘The Continents’, 1970-72; Violin Concerto ‘The Gypsy’, 1973-79;
Corroboree for Grainger for piano, concert band and percussion, 1989; Cello
Concerto ‘The Solitary Singer’ (1992-94)
Orchestra and String Orchestra: Berceuse symphonique, 1951; Scots Dance
Toccata, 1965; Young Scotland Suite, 1976; Recitative and Air (arr. strings, 1980)
Chamber Music: Sonata for violin and piano, 1947; 4 Meditations for string
quartet, 1964; Nocturne ‘Homage to John Field’ for clarinet and piano, 1965;
Duo-Sonata for harp and piano, 1971; Recitative and Air (violin or viola or
cello or bassoon and piano, 1974; also for string quartet, 1987); Variations
and Theme for cello and piano, 1974; Don Quixote and Sancho Panza, duo for 2
guitars, 1983; Fantasy Piano Quartet ‘Alma Alba’, 1985; Bergstimmung for horn
and piano, 1986; The Harlot’s House, ballet after Oscar Wilde for free-bass accordion, timpani and percussion, 1988; String Quartet
‘Voces Vagabundae’, 1990; Wind Quintet, 2000
Piano Music: 3 Sonatinas, 1945-48; Fugue on a Fragment of Chopin, 1949 (also
for 2 pianos, 1953), A 20th-Century Music Diary, 1956-59; Prelude, Fugue and
Fantasy on Themes from Busoni’s Faust, 1949-59; Passacaglia on D-S-C-H,
1960-62; A Modern scottish Triptych (Keening Sang for a Makar, Heroic Song for
Hugh MacDiarmid, Chorale-Pibroch for Sorley MacLean), 1959-67; South Uist
Hebridean Folksong Suite, 1969; Peter Grimes Fantasy, 1971; 3 Scottish Ballads,
1973; Sonatina serenissima (in memoriam Benjamin Britten), 1973-77; Norse Elegy for Ella Nygard, 1976-79; Symphonic Elegy for Liszt,
1986; Motus Perpetuus Temporibus Fatalibus, 1987-88; Beltane Bonfire, 1989; A
Carlyle Suite, 1995; Le Festin d’Alkan, petit concert, 1988-97
Other solo instruments: Variations on a theme of Pizzetti for solo violin,
1961; Prelude and Fugue on a 12-note theme of Liszt, for organ, 1961; Sonata
for harpsichord, 1968; Fantasia polifonia for harp, 1983-84; Scots Suite for
solo violin, 1984
Choral music: Songs into Space (Whitman), 1962; A Medieval Scottish triptych,
1967; Anns an Airdre, as an Doimhne, 1968; Ballatis of Luve, 1971; In Memoriam
Robert Carver, 12-part motet, 1987; Peace Motets, 1984-87; Coral recitative and
Psalm 23, 1990-92
Songs: There are over 300 individual songs, including major collections of
settings of Hugh MacDiarmid, William Soutar and James Joyce. The following are
just the major cycles - Songs of Innocence (Blake), 1947-48; Vietnamese
Miniatures (Ho Chi Minh), 1966; Border Boyhood (MacDiarmid), 1970; The Infernal
City (MacDiarmid), 1970-71; 9 Haiku, 1971; Songs of Quest (Davidson), 1974;
Hills of Home (RLS), 1975; Lieder ohne Buchstaben (A.D.Hope), 1982; A Child’s
Garden of Verses (RLS), 1985; The Gangrel Fiddler (Gordon), 1987
Transcriptions (for piano unless otherwise indicated):
Wiegenlied aus Wozzeck, 1953; Grainger, Hill-Song No.1, 1960; Suite from
Paderewski’s ‘Manru’, 1961; 9 Songs of Francis George Scott, 1963; Grainger,
Green Bushes, 1963; Quartettino (Busoni’s Sonatina No.3 arr for string
quartet), 1965; Ysaye: 6 Sonatas for solo violin realized as piano Sonatas,
1981-82; L’Art nouveau du Chant applique au piano (22 songs by various
composers arr as studies in Bel Canto pianism), 1980-86; Nielsen, Commotio,
1986; Mahler, Adagio from Symphony No.10, 1987; Van Dieren, string quartet realized as piano sonata, 1987; Grieg, Den bergtekne, 1990; Purcell: Hornpipe, 1995
Composer, virtuoso pianist and writer on music, Stevenson is the son of a
railway fireman (of Scots descent) and a mill-worker (of Welsh). Composer and
accompanist for Blackburn Ballet Company at the age of 14, he studied at the
Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester, 1945-47, on an open scholarship.
Stevenson has always been a pacifist - in 1948, aged 20, he was sent to prison
for a year as a conscientious objector to National Service and served in
several prisons before finishing the setence in agricultural and labouring work.
In 1949 he gave recitals to raise money for him to
go to Finland to meet Busoni’s widow. He taught at Boldon Colliery School,
Durham, 1950-52. Apart from study in Rome in 1956 he spent the next decade
teaching music in various schools in Edinburgh, and settled in the Scottish
Borders, in the village of West Linton, in 1956.
Stevenson was Senior Lecturer in Composition at the University of Cape Town,
1963-65, where he premiered his 80-minute piano work Passacaglia on D-S-C-H
(the subject derives from the initials of its dedicatee, Shostakovich).
Subsequent performances by Stevenson and his friend John Ogdon attracted
widespread attention. Returning to Scotland he concentrated on composition,
piano playing, witing, and frequent BBC broadcasts as lecturer and performer,
earning a Harriet Cohen International Music Award in 1967
for his centenary radio programmes on Busoni. He was guest speaker at the 4th
Congress of Soviet Composers in 1968, premiered the song-cycle Border Boyhood
with Peter Pears at the 1971 Aldeburgh Festival and introduced his Second Piano
Concerto at the 1972 Royal Albert Hall Proms.
Stevenson has travelled worldwide as pianist and lecturer, as advocate not
simply of his own music but of Busoni, Grainger and Paderewski in particular.
Concert and lecture tours have taken him as far afield as the USA, Canada,
Bulgaria, Australia, China, and many times to Switzerland. He is profoundly
interested in music for young people. In recent years a Ronald Stevenson
Society has publicized his achievements and philosophy, and holds an annual
summer school for performers in the Scottish Borders to examine aspects of Stevenson’s work.