Magazine article Gramophone

G Butterworth * Stephan: 'The End of Time'

Magazine article Gramophone

G Butterworth * Stephan: 'The End of Time'

Article excerpt

G Butterworth * Stephan

'The End of Time'

G Butterworth Two English Idylls. A Shropshire Lad: Rhapsody. The Banks of Green Willow

Stephan Music for Orchestra. Music for Seven String Instruments

Aachen Sympony Orchestra / Kazem Abdullah

Coviello [F] [SACD] COV91418 (69' * DDD/DSD)

This recording marks the centenary of the untimely death of Rudi Stephan, a composer of remarkable talent who was killed on the Galician Front in September 1915. Two fascinating works feature here: the Musik fur sieben Saiteninstrumente (1911) and the Musik fur Orchester (1912). These works, which reflected Stephan's strongly formalist desire to allow the music to express itself without any additional descriptive appendages (hence their somewhat abstract titles), brought Stephan's name forward as one of the most promising young composers of his time. Couched in a post-Wagnerian chromatic language more redolent of Schoenberg's first period, each work has a considerable brooding intensity and emotional power, the former with its more wiry chamber polyphony, the second with its textural richness and harmonic resource. …

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