Denis Stevens Autobigraphica

“Denis Stevens was one of the most respected musicologists who did more than anyone to revive the importance of Monteverdi. His intelligence and skills as a linguist enabled him not only to translate Monteverdi's letters and texts of the madrigals, but also to study manuscripts which gave him an advantage over others in his field, not least when ill informed pseudo-musicologists made groundless claims for the instrumentation needed to perform such works as the Vespers. As a producer in the BBC he introduced listeners for the first time to the world of composers such as Dufay, Fayrfax and Tallis, using performers like Alfred Deller and the Ambrosian Singers, directed by himself. Refreshingly, being an expert in the field of early music did not preclude Denis from knowing and loving many other kinds of music and he was, for example, a devotee of Delius. Being a linguist and musicologist with a fund of knowledge on any amount of topics made Denis the most charming, stimulating, and generous companion, and I feel greatly privileged to have known him.”
Sir Nicholas Jackson.

As the name “Fragmenta” suggests, this Autobiographica recounts episodes from Denis Stevens' life and career, clearly selected on the twin criteria of historical importance and humour. Yet this is by no means one person's story, for Denis knew so many significant musicians of his time, about whom he writes briefly yet with insight. A look at the Contents reveals the book's breadth of coverage. It is informative, revealing, historically significant, yet always entertaining.



3     Introduction by Daphne Stevens-Pascucci
4     Foreword by Sir Nicholas Jackson
5     Early Years
9     Calcutta 1942: Was this War, I wondered
11    Postwar Oxford and the BBC Third Programme
13    Wilhelm Furtwängler
14    Kirsten Flagstad
15    Beecham and Klemperer
16    The Launching of Musica Britannica
17    Manfred Bukofzer
19    Of Books Collected and Dispersed
21    The Move to Cornell
25    Thomas Tomkins and the first stereo recording
27    Penn State
29    Ambrosian Singers and the Accademia Monteverdiana
32    Herbert von Karajan
34    A Promenade Concert and Salzburg Festival
37    Music in Europe, Unrest at Columbia University
38   A Private Romance
42    Yehudi Menuhin
44    Leopold Stokowski
45    John Mosely and the first stereo recordings
46    Edgar Fleet
47    John Frost
48    CBE at Buckingham Palace
50   A Tribute by Anthony Pryer
51   Monteverdi's Vespers, Westminster Abbey, 1962
54   Concert in St. Mark's Basilica, Venice 1972
55    'A Marriage of Music and Art' - Sheila Stevens
58    'Denis in Santa Barbara' - Lilian Kwasny-Stevens
68    Retirement at Sir Christopher Wren's Morden College
69    Bibliography
71    Musical Editions and Discography

10" by 8" (250x200mm) 78 pp full colour cover, numerous b/w illustrations.

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Available as a paperback,
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Accademia Monteverdiana
founded by Denis Stevens, and now continued by his daughter Daphne Stevens-Pascucci.
History, informtion, events, CDs etc., links to recordings and literature.

Denis Stevens
A brief internet biography.

Several recordings produced by Denis Stevens
are available through the internet from
The Baroque Music Club