Chamber Music

Andante for Clarinet and Piano 1949 ACA 2½ min.
Arranged for concert band by Donald Bryce Thompson.

Arioso and Etude 1947 EH 2½ min.
For double bass and piano.
Dedicated to Alice Lunden.

Bicinia for Two Violins 1967 EH 5¾ min.

Dittico 1972 EH 4¾
For saxophone and piano
Dedicated to Harvey Pittel

Eight Canons for Two Violas 1969 ACA 5¾ min.
Written for Samuel Bruskin

Eight Canons for Two Violins 1966 ACA 8 min.
Meno andante
Pogo allegro, assolutamente giusto
Andante con moto
Allegro molto

Eight Pieces for Woodwind Quartet 1966 ACA 12½ min.
(Transcribed by the composer from Eight Piano Pieces, 1961-2.)

Elegy for Violin and Piano 1951 ACA 3½ min.
Written for Robert Gerle.

Five Duos for Flute and Clarinet 1966 PEER 5½ min.
Written for Laura and Robert Fass.

Five Duos for Two Cellos 1954 CFP 8¼ min.
Written for Kit.
“…small pieces of slight difficulty but considerable musical interest.  They will be fine Hausmusik for two equally matched amateurs whose musical taste is more developed than their fingers.  The style is contrapuntal with a strong bias toward canon…comparison to the larger pieces of Bartók’s Mikrokosmos is inevitable, and not damaging.”
– Milliam Klenz, Notes, June 1958

Four Duos for Two Double-Basses 1967 ACA 9¼ min.

Four Folksongs of Touraine 1963 EH 2½ min.
For Clarinet and Piano.
Written for James W. Luke, Jr.

Four Pieces for Four Violins 1968 EH 3¼ min.

Four Short Pieces for Horn (or clarinet) and Piano 1958 COR 7 min.
Written for Kit

Hungarian Children’s Songs 1953 PEER 4 min.
For cello and piano.
Dedicated to Kit

Intermezzo, Cadenza and Finale for Cello and Piano 1949, revised 1950 PEER 7½ min.
Dedicated to Stephen and Margaret Deák“…made its effect with broader, quieter, and more contemplative lines.  In his placid melody there was something of the cool tenderness of starry spaces.”
– Herbert Elwell, Cleveland Plain Dealer, Jan. 14, 1956

Invention for Bb Clarinet and Bassoon (transcribed from Seventeen Piano Pieces) 1968 EH 2 min.
Magyar Folk Songs () for Two Violins, Viola and Cello
1950 ACA 8¼ min.

Moravian Folksong 1954 ACA
For cello and piano

Music for Christopher 1953 PEER 3 min.
For cello and piano

Prelude for Harp 1958 PEER 1¾ min.

Quintet 1945 EH 21 min.
For flute, violin, viola, violoncello, and piano.
Dedicated to the Music Lovers Society of San Francisco.

Quintetto “Serbelloni” for Woodwind Quintet 1972 EH 22 min.
Scherzo: Allegro

Romanian Dance for Cello and Piano 1960 EH

Septet for Wind and String Instruments 1957 ACA 19¼ min.
Cl, hn, bsn, 2 va, 2 celli.
Commissioned by the Fromm Music Foundation for the University of Illinois Festival of Contemporary Arts.

Serenade for Viola (or clarinet) and Piano 1944 EH 3 min.
Dedicated to Charles and Marie Cooper.
“…brief, simple in content and straightforward in form, it reveals a composer of considerable sensitivity, expressiveness, and one with a definite feeling for melody.”
– William Schempf, Notes, Mar. 1948

Seven Duets for Violin and Cello 1967 EH 7¾ min

Six Canons for two Equal Instruments 1952 ACA 8 min.
Duos – unspecified wind or string

Six Slovakian Folksongs for Harp 1966 PEER 4½ min.

Sonata No. 1 for Violin and Piano 1947 ACA 17 min.
Dedicated to Maurice Wilk

Sonata for Bassoon (or cello) and Piano 1949 ACA 13 min.
“…terse, spiced original rhythmic patterns.  It moved with a  fresh spontaneity that quickened and held the interest.”
– William Mootz, Louisville Courier-Journal, Jan. 15, 1951

Sonata for Cello and Piano 1965 PEER 14¼ min.
Commissioned by the Summer Festival of the Performing Arts, Olympia, WA.
Poco adagio
Allegro moderato

Sonata for Horn and Piano 1953 AL 4 min.
Dedicated to George Hyde.
Publication award, National Association of College Wind and Percussion Instructors, 1954.
“The most melodic episode of the evening….  On the whole this had a more recognizable American flavor than anything else on the program, with a wayward, offhand type of melodic expression that at its best was genuinely attractive, while presenting no particular problems of assimilation.”
– Albert Goldberg, Los Angeles Times, Nov. 14, 1955

Sonata for Solo Cello 1958 CFP 16 min.
Written for Gábor Rejto.
“Stevens lures his listener through beauty of sound and structural inevitability, without ever reminding him of other composers….  Rejto gave the work an effortless, vivid performance, the kind which should be recorded, the kind which might catapult this work right into the middle of the repertoire, at least for those cellists who could meet its technical challenges.”
- Raymond Kendall, Los Angeles Mirror News, Jan. 6, 1959
“Halsey Stevens’s sonata for unaccompanied cello was given a big ovation…; this reception, one suspects, will be repeated as often as Rejto plays the piece….  Stevens’s sonata explores the cello exhaustively, but without strain.  It is grand in scale, beautifully balanced in the sequence of its five movements, very taxing in its virtuoso demands, yet reserved and poised in the total effect.  Above all, it is apparent that the composer was totally absorbed and delighted in imagining these sounds and pursuing the logic of his rhythmic, melodic, and tonal design; and this sense of absorption and delight is fully communicated to his hearers.”
- Alfred Frankenstein, San Francisco Chronicle, June 26, 1959

Sonata for Trombone and Piano 1965 PEER 15 min.
Written for Robert Marsteller.
Allegro moderato ma giusto

Sonata for Trumpet and Piano 1956 CFP 14¾ min.
“It is extremely difficult to avoid clashing colors and sonorous monotony in writing for trumpet and piano, and Mr. Stevens is to be congratulated on solving this problem adroitly, while preserving his freedom of musical invention.  The terse, incisive first theme of his first movement suits the trumpet admirably, and is woven into a stimulating dialogue with the piano.  The composer is careful not to thicken the piano part to offset the brilliance of the trumpet.  He uses telling dissonances and vigorous rhythmic accents instead.  The slow movement uses the muted trumpet beautifully in a broadly arching theme which is mirrored formally by an arch of harmonic and dynamic intensity and concentration.  Its superimposed intervals give the harmony a wide reach without ever falling into heaviness or mere decoration.  The brilliant finale, with its shifting meters and springy theme, remind one of Bartók without making one forget Mr. Stevens.  All in all, a valuable contribution to the repertoire.”
– Rober Sabin, Musical America, February 1960

Sonata for Viola and Piano 1950 ACA 23 min.
Written for John Garvey.
Moderato con moto
Lento, con grazia
Allegro“In general, the style is diatonic but with occasional chromatic surprises….  Chords are suggested by the flow of melodic lines: sometimes chords built in fourths, sometimes double thirds which have a polychordal relation….  There is a feeling of well-concentrated organic structure.  While a great deal of this structure comes from an obviously sound training,…it seems to be unconscious and spontaneous, and there is no feeling that the work is too rigid and pedantically thought out, or the result of some mechanized system.  It is agreeable, flowing music.”
– Henry Cowell, Musical Quarterly, October 1950
“The first movement is urgent and vigorous, and exploits the characteristic color of the viola without asking the instrument to be something other than it is.  The slow movement, in a leisurely siciliano rhythm, is a real gem – a brooding melody floating over richly tinted keyboard harmonies that illuminate without overpowering the sound of the viola.  The finale is more diffuse…but again the workmanship was beyond cavil.”
– Albert Goldberg, Los Angeles Times, Sept. 29, 1953

Sonatina for Cello (or bassoon) and Piano 1957 EH 7¾ min.
Written for Kit.

Sonatina for Flute and Piano 1943 BB 6¼ min.
Publication award, Middlebury College Composers Conference, 1946.
Dedicated to Merrill Jordan.“…delicate and quite charming…refreshing and piquant in its two lively movements.  For contrast, there was a nice pensive warmth in its slow movement.”
– Alexander Fried, San Francisco Examiner, Apr. 27, 1948

Sonatina for Solo Harp 1954 PEER 10½ min.

Sonatina for Trombone (or bass tuba) and Piano 1960 PEER 9¼ min.
Written for Don Waldrop.

Sonatina Giocosa for Double-Bass and Piano
1954 ACA 7 min.
Alternate versions for cello and piano.
Written for the Lawrence Morton and the Monday Evening Concerts, Los Angeles.“Not too many composers would dream of writing a joyous piece for the double-bass….  The piece strikes a nice balance between the gay and the expressive, and makes demands on the double-bass that only a player with…cello-like facility and exceptional range of tonal nuance could be expected to cope with successfully.”
- Albert Goldberg, Los Angeles Times, Oct. 12, 1954

Sonatina No. 3 for Violin and Piano 1959 EH 8¼ min.
Friends of Harvey Gaul Award, 1960.

Sonatina Piacevole 1956 ACA 4½ min.
For alto recorder (or flute) and harpsichord (or piano).
Written for Lili Lampl.

Studies for Solo Bassoon 1968 ACA 26 min.
Written for Vernon Read.

Suite for Clarinet (or viola) and Piano 1945, revised 1953 CFP 8½ min.
Dedicated to Ingolf Dahl.“…sprightly and piquant, beautifully balanced in construction, with much contrast in mood and pace…well adapted to the instrument.”
– C. S. Hickman, Christian Science Monitor, Jan. 3, 1948
“The Suite for Clarinet and Piano (which is so well suited to the clarinet that I believe that it would be a bit less effective for the viola) is composed on the same lines as the Trumpet Sonata.  Again we find a terse and galloping first movement in close-knit dialogue; a broad but admirably shaped Adagio, which reveals Mr. Stevens as a logician, and not a mere scene-painter, as a harmonist; and a metrically tricky but always propulsive and texturally unified [third movement].”
- Robert Sabin, Musical America, Feb. 1960

Suite for Solo Violin 1954 EH 19 min.
Written for Rober Gerle.“…Its four movements exploit to the utmost contemporary virtuoso technique, and its performers – may their tribe increase! – will be grateful for Rober Gerle’s detailed and wise technical editing.  The highly chromatic language, the rhythmic variety, the tight but free-sounding structure are all Bartókian in influence [sic]; but who more than Halsey Stevens, author of the definitive work on that composer, has a right to profit from such influence? …Stevens’s remarkable composition for the difficult medium of solo violin deserves as much attention and success as its Hungarian predecessor.”
- Rober Erich Wolf, Notes, Mar. 1959

Suite for Viola and Piano 1959 PEER 12 min.
Written for Ferenc Molnár

Three Hungarian Folk Songs 1950 ECS 3¼ min.
For viola and piano.
Written for Austin Ranney

Three Japanese Folksongs 1960 ACA 5½ min.
Soprano, violin, cello, piano.
Written for Shigeko Iinuma
1. “Sakura Sakura”
2. “Komoriuta”
3. “Aizu Bandai San”

Three Pieces for Bassoon (or cello) and Piano 1949 CFP 4½ min.
Dedicated to Joel Hayden, Jr.“To write as simply and transparently and as compellingly as has Halsey Stevens…you have to a be a really able composer.  These comparatively brief and modest works…have a very distinct profile and reveal admirable imagination and workmanship….  The texture is contrapuntally alert, yet one never has the sense of rigidity or any forcing of the flowing melodic lines.  The lean, somewhat tartly dissonant harmonies are always functional; Mr. Stevens never pads or elaborates needlessly.  Both for students for performers these relatively easy pieces offer attractive music that stands head and shoulders above the material usually available in this genre.”
- Rober Sabin, Musical America, May 1959
“…show a handling of rhythm and dissonance, a sure sense of structure, and a mastery of line that make the work essential in every bassoonist’s (and cellist’s) basic library.  It is not difficult in the virtuoso sense and thus should be used extensively as part of our conservatory and music school curricula, both for training and public performance.”
– Albert Seay, Notes, Sept. 1959

Three Pieces for Three Violins
1967 EH 2¼ min.

Trio for Wind and/or String Instruments 1959 EH 10½ min.
Flute or violin, clarinet or viola, bassoon or cello (playable in any of eight possible permutations).
Written for radio station KPFK-FM

Trio No. 3 1953 EH 15:00
For violin, cello and piano.
Dedicated to the Redlands Trio (John Golz, Eugene de Kerpely, Robert Hord).
Commissioned by the University of Redlands School of Music.

Tunes from Olden Times (1st set) 1954 ACA 2½ min.
For cello and piano.
Written for Kit.

Tunes from Olden Times (2nd set) 1954 ACA 3 min.
For cello and piano.
Written for Kit.

Twelve Slovakian Folksongs 1962 ECS 6¾ min.
For two violins.

Twelve Melodic Studies for Clarinet 
1966 PEER 25 1/4 min

Twelve Studies for Oboe 1972 ACA 25 min.
Written for Leroy Southers.

Two Pieces for Four Clarinets 1961 EH 3¼ min.
Written for David L. Hite.

Two Shakespeare Songs (see Songs)
Mezzo-soprano, flute, clarinet.
Written for Margery MacKay
1. “Come Away Death”
2. “Under the Greenwood Tree