Chamber Music

Clarinet Quintet No 2 2012 12'
Editions BIM, Switzerland
ny fanfare

1st perf: David Campbell/Sacconi Quartet, 22 July 2012, Great Hall, Aberystwyth Arts Centre, Aberwystyth, Wales. Aberwystwyth MusicFest.

1st French perf: David Campbell/Quatuor Girard, 17 August 2012, Abbatiale Saint-Pierre, Uzerche.

Sept miniatures pour trio avec piano 2007-08 17'
Editions BIM, Switzerland

Recorded by the Trio Magellan, Paris, Explora Concept EC005.

Listen (extracts):
audio I Overture
audio II Serenade
audio III Dance
audio IV Hymn
audio IV Rituel
audio IV Elegaic Variations
audio VII FInale
from CD: Explora Concept EC005
Performed by Trio Megellan

De l'angélus du matin à l'angélus du soir 2004 2004 7'
Manuscript with composer

1st perf: Ensemble Hope, 15 January 2004, Théâtre Municipal,
Brive-la-Gaillarde, France.
1st recording: Ensemble Hope, Polychrome.

"Les spectateurs, 'en lévitation', ont notamment eu le privilège d'assister à la création mondiale de Roger Steptoe. Ce professeur de l'ENMDAD de Brive, pourtant habitué à voir ses oeuvres jouées par des ensembles prestigieux, n'a pu cacher son émotion lorsqu'il est monté sur scène pour féliciter le quatuor de Cristals. Les notes pures de ces instruments possèdent visiblement la vertu rare d'entrer en chacun par le conduit auditif pour aller droit vers le coeur et les tripes."
La Montagne, Centre France
Brive 17 January 2004

String Quartet No. 4 2003 25'
Editions BIM, Switzerland
Commissioned by the Festival International de Quatuors à Cordes du Luberon for the Quatuor Elysée.
1st perfs: Quatuor Elysée,
23 July, Eglise de Goult, 25 July, L'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue,
27 July, Abbaye de Silvacane
followed by the Grand Theatre, Limoges, 9 March 2004.
String Quartet No. 3 2002 23'
Editions BIM, Switzerland

(d'après William Turner)
Commissioned to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Eté Musical Saint-Robert, Limousin, France.
1st perf: Quatuor Elysée, Saint Robert, 26 July 2001.
1st London perf: Kreutzer Quartet, Wilton's Music Hall, London, 7 May 2008 followed by the University of York New Music Festival, 9 May 2008.

Listen (extracts):
audio String Quartet No.3 - 1st Movement
audio String Quartet No.3 - 2nd Movement
audio String Quartet No.3 - 3rd Movement
audio String Quartet No.3 - 4th Movement
Performed by The Kreutzer Quartet

''The new quartet's enthusiastic reception underscored its blend of originality and accessibility. There is an originality of design, evolving out of content, the five movements thematically integrated and cyclically linked through a palindromic structure at various levels. Steptoe's idiom is distinctive, creating its own spaciousness through artful counterpoint influenced by his mentor Alan Bush, subtly-nuanced harmony and evocative lyricism (a quality of many of his works of the 1980s). Individually pungent and arresting, the five movements add up to an engaging, cyclic work that not only represents a valuable contribution to the quartet repertoire, but also affirms the significance of Steptoe's aesthetic individuality.''
Dr. Malcolm Miller, Tempo, London, October 2002

''Leurs riches couleurs dans les mouvements lents et surprenantes harmonies du second ont généré un émotion palpable.''
La Montagne Centre France , July 2002.

Quatre romances sans paroles for piano quartet 2001 20'
Editions BIM, Switzerland

(d'après Paul Verlaine)
Commissioned by the London Piano Quartet.
1st perf: Great Elm Midsummer Concerts, Great Elm Church, Somerset, UK, LPQ (Nona Liddell (vln), Elizabeth Turnbull (vla), David Kenedy (vc), Philip Fowke (pno), 1 July 2001.
1st French perf: LPQ, Abbatiale Saint-Pierre, Uzerche, 4 August 2002.

''Steptoe entre classique et contemporain..... des deux dernières romances, magnifiques dans leur conception.''
La Montagne, Centre France, August 2001

Oboe Quartet 1988-89 20'
Stainer & Bell Ltd. London

Commissioned by the Berlin Oboe Quartet.
1st perf: Berlin Oboe Quartet, British Council, West Berlin, 18 April 1989.
1st London perf: Berlin Oboe Quartet, Purcell Room, 18 September 1989.
1st Swedish perf: Gordon Hunt (ob), Chilingirian Quartet, 19 November 1990, Lund, Olofström and Sundsvall. Tour promoted by Svenska Rikskonserter and British Council.

''It is music that calls for imagination as well as expertise. Steptoe's two-movement work makes much of individual contrasts of character and timbre among the players.''
Noël Goodwin, The Times, 10 February 1990.

''Steptoe's works are well crafted, structurally tight, and well written for the instruments.''
Berlin Morning Post, 20 April 1989.

String Quartet No. 2 1985 17'
Stainer & Bell Ltd. London
Commissioned by the BBC for the Allegri Quartet
1st perf: Allegri Quartet, Aberystwyth University, 5 May 1986 in a concert promoted by the BBC as part of the University of Wales Recital Series. Followed by the Universities of Cardiff, Oxford, Southampton, York and Nottingham.
1st broadcast perf: BBC Radio 3, Allegri Quartet, 18 September, 1987.
Dance Suite for oboe, clarinet and string quartet 1984 20'
Stainer & Bell Ltd. London

Commissioned by the 1984 Harrogate International Festival

1st perf: Robin Canter (ob), David Campbell (cl), Bochmann Quartet, 9 August 1984, Christ Church, Harrogate.
1st broadcast perf: BBC Radio 3, 27 January 1985 by the same artists.

Clarinet Quintet 1980 26'
Stainer & Bell Ltd. London

Commissioned by David Campbell with funds made available by the West Midlands Arts Association.
1st perf: David Campbell (cl), Coull String Quartet,
Aston Centre for the Arts, 9 February 1981.
1st London perf: David Campbell (cl), Bochmann String Quartet,
Wigmore Hall, 13 July 1982.
1st broadcast perf: David Campbell (cl), Coull Quartet, BBC Radio 3,
St Andrews Festival, Scotland, 29th June 1981.
1st commercial recording, David Campbell (cl), Bochmann Quartet, Phoenix Musica Britannica 1017, (1982).

''I think this a splendid work; perhaps the best for the medium since the Bliss Quintet.''
Malcolm MacDonald, Gramophone, December 1982.

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''But it was the Clarinet Quintet by Roger Steptoe which provided the central highlights. This new work came as a refreshing surprise. This young composer is able to present strong thematic material in a cogently attractive way and subject it to fascinating processes of logical development. The performance gave new hope for the main stream of modern music. While admiring Steptoe's structural facility and superb handling of his forces, one could not help being intrigued by his sense of drama in the complex Scherzo, and an ear for instrumental timbre in the hushed, extremely beautiful slow movement.'
David Hart, Birmingham Mail, February 1981.

''Mr Steptoe, in an illustrated talk, gave an analysis and a description of his work and to his credit the verbal explanation of his music only clarified details of a piece whose expression and purpose was immediately attractive in performance. Steptoe's Quintet is very 'English' in style with absorbed influences of Britten and Tippett in particular, governing a very personal and directly attractive style. The Quintet, composed within a classical framework, is a real one, with the clarinet completely integrated into the shaping and texture of the music. There are three noticeably prominent elements within it: lyrical, grammatic and theatrical, and these emotional features are developed with a near visual sensitivity and intense subjectivity. The impact of the third, a lush 'lento' inspired by Rupert Brooke's 'Waikiki' provided the spiritual core and the emotional plateau of the piece as a whole.''
Barrie Grayson, Birmingham Post, February 1981.

''It proved a finely-wrought four-movement piece, with lyrical feeling informing a generally taut construction.''
Felix Aprahamian, The Sunday Times, July 1982.

''Its first impression on me was that of a clear sense of musical direction in its generally mainstream character, allied to resourceful writing in the instrumental writing.''
The Times, July 1982.

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String Quartet No. 1 1976 16'
Stainer & Bell Ltd. London

Commissioned by the Coull String Quartet.
1st perf: Coull String Quartet, Purcell Room, London, 5 January 1977.
1st Dutch perf: Holland, Gaudeamus Foundation, Coull Quartet, December 1977.
1st broadcast performance: BBC Radio 3, 50 Years of British Music, December 1979.
1st commercial recording: Coull Quartet, Phoenix Musica Britannica 1001 (1981).

''...... proved to be a well-worked piece in one movement, around 16 minutes long, a shade single-mindedly serious, single-mannered, but worthy all the same in its Hindemithian convolvement.''
Dominic Gill, Financial Times, January 1977.
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''Roger Steptoe's new quartet finds novel expression in comparatively orthodox means. Precisely conceived in one long, well-varied movement, its slower sections are at once strong in texture yet never opaque, the phrases always moulded with intelligence and purpose, and earnestly integrated with the faster, more abrupt ones.''
Alan Blyth, The Daily Telegraph, January 1977.

''Steptoe's String Quartet No. 1 was an impressive piece of craftsmanship. A single-movement work but divided into four sections following the classical scheme with a brief reprise of the scherzo material for finale it exhibits great confidence in its handling of a basically tonal language and a structure unified by recurring intervalic motifs.''
Andrew Clements, Music and Musicians, April 1977.

''The (Coull) Quartet introduced with obviously committed zeal, an extremely well written first String Quartet by Roger Steptoe, in which extended cello and viola solos showed Charterhouse's first Composer-in-Residence to be more than just a skillful craftsman.''
Felix Aprahamian, The Sunday Times, January 1977.

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