Full text of reviews in Classical Guitar magazine 2001:

Maumbury Rings and Dancing Ledge (Tuscany Publications)

Beautifully presented, this linked pair of pieces by the English composer and guitarist, Stephen Kenyon was inspired by the countryside in the county of Dorset in the South of England.

On first reading through the score it is obvious that this is beautifully crafted music. The phrases have a vocal quality that is wholly natural while the harmonic progressions are gorgeous. The music, particularly Maumbury Rings is as English as that other tremolo piece is Spanish. Yes, the first piece is written in tremolo technique, yet is unique in that it has a sense of being unhurried, standing still in time. There is no feeling of trying to produce anything other than a legato melodic line, which gives serenity to the atmosphere of the music.

Dancing Ledge is much more varied with changes of character and colour.

When one puts the music onto the guitar it is immediately apparent that the music is even more lovely than when read in one's head. As an added bonus the score is very playable with excellent performance notes by the composer. A privilege to review.

John Arran

Scottish Suite (Tuscany Publications)

Stephen Kenyon's Scottish Suite for solo guitar was written in 1997. The four movements: Pastoral , Hornpipe, Lament and Jig, all have a Celtic flavour. The Pastoral, (marked 'peaceful') is described by the composer as being 'restful yet moving with some purpose'. The vigorous Hornpipe oozes vitality whilst the Lament contains some exquisite colouration in the writing. No twithout its outbursts of passion this movement marked 'with great sadness' is remarkable for its poignancy. The final Jig is full of energy: a real let your hair down finale to a superb virtuoso concert item.

The performance notes written by the composer really let you know what he thinks about the suite's performance. Almost like having a lesson with Kenyon himself. I would be more than interested in hearing how this composer would express hjimself in a solo guitar sonata form as he has the technique to develop and shape his material with the discipline necessary for that medium.

John Arran


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