Author Topic: David Matthews(1943-)  (Read 21922 times)

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Offline UB

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Re: David Matthews(1943-)
« Reply #20 on: December 20, 2008, 11:16:51 AM »
While I worked at my computer this morning I listened to a number of pieces by this composer. The big winner for me was his early - 1976 - Toccatas and Pastorals, for 2 Oboes, Basson & Harpsichord. A delightful work that reminds me of much earlier music. This was a WP recording that was re-broadcast on BBC during a David Matthews special.

I also enjoyed the world premiere recording of Terrible Beauty for mezzo-soprano and ensemble. In this case with Susan Bickley and the Nash Ensemble. The instrumental interludes set off the songs and hold the whole work together.

The other excellent work was Burnham Wick, a 15 minute work for small orchesta written in 1997. It is dedicated to Michael Tippett. Matthews seems to enjoy trying to translate scenes into music but I would not say this is a tone poem.

Burnam Wick seems to be in Essex but I could not find a picture. I am hoping that one of our English members can tell me what kind of geographic landscape is designated a Wick.

I am not in the entertainment business. Harrison Birtwistle 2010

Offline Christo

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Re: David Matthews(1943-)
« Reply #21 on: December 20, 2008, 12:55:08 PM »
I didn't realise that they were two separate composers!

Exactly my problem. And again: having heard mostly music by Colin Matthews (Pluto and a few other pieces) I made a similar conclusion, and missed his brother's music.

But I happen to own David Matthews' Fourth Symphony (label Collins, to make it even more confusing  :) ) and will give a spin tomorrow, seeing that UB and other members here are enjoying it!
… music is not only an 'entertainment’, nor a mere luxury, but a necessity of the spiritual if not of the physical life, an opening of those magic casements through which we can catch a glimpse of that country where ultimate reality will be found.    RVW, 1948

Offline Dundonnell

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Re: David Matthews(1943-)
« Reply #22 on: December 20, 2008, 01:53:30 PM »
While I worked at my computer this morning I listened to a number of pieces by this composer. The big winner for me was his early - 1976 - Toccatas and Pastorals, for 2 Oboes, Basson & Harpsichord. A delightful work that reminds me of much earlier music. This was a WP recording that was re-broadcast on BBC during a David Matthews special.

I also enjoyed the world premiere recording of Terrible Beauty for mezzo-soprano and ensemble. In this case with Susan Bickley and the Nash Ensemble. The instrumental interludes set off the songs and hold the whole work together.

The other excellent work was Burnham Wick, a 15 minute work for small orchesta written in 1997. It is dedicated to Michael Tippett. Matthews seems to enjoy trying to translate scenes into music but I would not say this is a tone poem.

Burnam Wick seems to be in Essex but I could not find a picture. I am hoping that one of our English members can tell me what kind of geographic landscape is designated a Wick.



Well, I am not English but Scottish. Nevertheless I can offer you a meaning of "Wick" as in Burnham Wick. I think that it is an obsolete Old English word for a village, possibly derived from the Latin word 'Vicus' used to describe a settlement or village which grew up usually next to a Roman military fort. There are a few other examples- Warwick may be one and there is a Hampton Wick in London. There is also, of course, a town called Wick in Caithness in the north of Scotland ;D Burnham Wick appears to be no more now than a farm in Essex near to Burnham-on-Crouch.

Offline Christo

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Re: David Matthews(1943-)
« Reply #23 on: December 20, 2008, 02:27:15 PM »
Well, I am not English but Scottish. Nevertheless I can offer you a meaning of "Wick" as in Burnham Wick. I think that it is an obsolete Old English word for a village, possibly derived from the Latin word 'Vicus' used to describe a settlement or village which grew up usually next to a Roman military fort. There are a few other examples- Warwick may be one and there is a Hampton Wick in London. There is also, of course, a town called Wick in Caithness in the north of Scotland ;D Burnham Wick appears to be no more now than a farm in Essex near to Burnham-on-Crouch.

You're right, most probably. In Dutch, "wijk" is a quite common word, meaning "locality", "suburb", "part of town", "area". Many place names contain it, e.g. Wijk bij Duurstede (the early Medieval town of "Dorestad"), Wijk aan Zee (`Wick on the Coast'), or the eastern suburb of Maastricht, simply called "Wijk". The latter name, a Roman settlement, is clearly derived from the Latin "Vicus", but I guess that applies to the word "wijk" in Dutch and "Wick" in English in general.
… music is not only an 'entertainment’, nor a mere luxury, but a necessity of the spiritual if not of the physical life, an opening of those magic casements through which we can catch a glimpse of that country where ultimate reality will be found.    RVW, 1948

Offline Dundonnell

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Re: David Matthews(1943-)
« Reply #24 on: December 20, 2008, 02:36:14 PM »
You're right, most probably. In Dutch, "wijk" is a quite common word, meaning "locality", "suburb", "part of town", "area". Many place names contain it, e.g. Wijk bij Duurstede (the early Medieval town of "Dorestad"), Wijk aan Zee (`Wick on the Coast'), or the eastern suburb of Maastricht, simply called "Wijk". The latter name, a Roman settlement, is clearly derived from the Latin "Vicus", but I guess that applies to the word "wijk" in Dutch and "Wick" in English in general.

Thanks for your help, Johan :)

Offline Christo

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Re: David Matthews(1943-)
« Reply #25 on: December 20, 2008, 02:43:34 PM »
Thanks for your help, Johan :)

If "Wick" is indeed derived from the Latin "vicus", you probably don't find many "wicks" in Scotland, do you? Or was the word imported in Medieval English/Scottish?
… music is not only an 'entertainment’, nor a mere luxury, but a necessity of the spiritual if not of the physical life, an opening of those magic casements through which we can catch a glimpse of that country where ultimate reality will be found.    RVW, 1948

Offline Dundonnell

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Re: David Matthews(1943-)
« Reply #26 on: December 20, 2008, 02:52:44 PM »
If "Wick" is indeed derived from the Latin "vicus", you probably don't find many "wicks" in Scotland, do you? Or was the word imported in Medieval English/Scottish?

Hmm...interesting! The principal town of the island of Shetland is Lerwick but its name derives from the Norse 'vik' meaning a bay. There is the border town of Berwick and the town of North Berwick near to Edinburgh. Hawick is a town in the Scottish Borders-not that far from the Roman fort on the Eildon Hills(the Roman 'Trimontium').

Offline Christo

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Re: David Matthews(1943-)
« Reply #27 on: December 21, 2008, 02:11:41 AM »
Hmm...interesting! The principal town of the island of Shetland is Lerwick but its name derives from the Norse 'vik' meaning a bay. There is the border town of Berwick and the town of North Berwick near to Edinburgh. Hawick is a town in the Scottish Borders-not that far from the Roman fort on the Eildon Hills(the Roman 'Trimontium').

Interesting indeed. But still not enough evidence for direct connection to Roman times, I guess. My etymological dictionary (and old one, don't have a good one) gives the Latin "vicus" as the source for this meaning of the Dutch "wijk"  (there's the other meaning too, coming close to your "bay", a word of Germanic origin identical to your Norse "vik", but my dictionary suggests a connection with "old-English"  ;) )

BTT: just saved Colin Matthews' Fourth Symphony from the hands of my 2,5 years old son and hope to play it in the evening. (Have to sing first, in a choir in one of our Medieval churches this afternoon).  8)

… music is not only an 'entertainment’, nor a mere luxury, but a necessity of the spiritual if not of the physical life, an opening of those magic casements through which we can catch a glimpse of that country where ultimate reality will be found.    RVW, 1948

Offline Dundonnell

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Re: David Matthews(1943-)
« Reply #28 on: December 21, 2008, 04:56:22 AM »
Interesting indeed. But still not enough evidence for direct connection to Roman times, I guess. My etymological dictionary (and old one, don't have a good one) gives the Latin "vicus" as the source for this meaning of the Dutch "wijk"  (there's the other meaning too, coming close to your "bay", a word of Germanic origin identical to your Norse "vik", but my dictionary suggests a connection with "old-English"  ;) )

BTT: just saved Colin Matthews' Fourth Symphony from the hands of my 2,5 years old son and hope to play it in the evening. (Have to sing first, in a choir in one of our Medieval churches this afternoon).  8)



David Matthews, Johan ;D You are confusing with the younger brother again ;D

Offline Christo

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Re: David Matthews(1943-)
« Reply #29 on: December 21, 2008, 08:53:59 AM »
David Matthews, Johan ;D You are confusing with the younger brother again ;D

Sorry, David! (Or is it Colin?)  8) :) Anyhow, didn't find time or opportunity to play the Matthews yet, as my kids didn't allow for anything else but some more accessible Christmas music. Played some Pärt, Tavener, and Vaughan Williams instead. Without too much protest.   ;)

BTW: I observed that the booklet notes of the Collins release of David Matthews' Fourth Symphony are by Malcolm MacDonald. May I presume some sort of connection, there?  ::)
« Last Edit: December 22, 2008, 03:57:10 AM by Christo »
… music is not only an 'entertainment’, nor a mere luxury, but a necessity of the spiritual if not of the physical life, an opening of those magic casements through which we can catch a glimpse of that country where ultimate reality will be found.    RVW, 1948

Offline Dundonnell

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Re: David Matthews(1943-)
« Reply #30 on: December 29, 2008, 05:18:07 PM »
The Chandos CD mentioned above will be released in February.

http://www.prestoclassical.co.uk/r/Chandos/CHAN10487

Offline Dundonnell

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Re: David Matthews(1943-)
« Reply #31 on: February 03, 2009, 05:34:27 PM »
The splendid British symphonist David Matthew's Symphonies Nos. 1, 3 and 5 are scheduled for imminent release by that marvellously enterprising label Dutton.

http://www.duttonvocalion.co.uk/proddetail.asp?prod=CDLX7222

Offline vandermolen

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Re: David Matthews(1943-)
« Reply #32 on: February 04, 2009, 02:53:14 AM »
The splendid British symphonist David Matthew's Symphonies Nos. 1, 3 and 5 are scheduled for imminent release by that marvellously enterprising label Dutton.

http://www.duttonvocalion.co.uk/proddetail.asp?prod=CDLX7222

What are they like Colin?
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Offline Dundonnell

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Re: David Matthews(1943-)
« Reply #33 on: February 04, 2009, 06:09:56 AM »
What are they like Colin?

Ah...that's a hard question to answer since I have not heard any Matthews symphony other than No.4. 'Tough tonal" would probably be the best answer ;D

No.6 got a really excellent review after it was performed at the Proms. It quotes RVW if I recall.

There is more info at www.david-matthews.co.uk


Offline vandermolen

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Re: David Matthews(1943-)
« Reply #34 on: February 05, 2009, 01:38:42 AM »
Ah...that's a hard question to answer since I have not heard any Matthews symphony other than No.4. 'Tough tonal" would probably be the best answer ;D

No.6 got a really excellent review after it was performed at the Proms. It quotes RVW if I recall.

There is more info at www.david-matthews.co.uk



Thanks Colin. I like the brief extract that plays when you open the website. Is his music similar to that of any other composers?
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Online not edward

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Re: David Matthews(1943-)
« Reply #35 on: February 06, 2009, 02:46:57 PM »
I'd say he's somewhere in the Britten-Tippett continuum, but not as cranky as St. Augustine or Tippett's 4th.
"I don't at all mind actively disliking a piece of contemporary music, but in order to feel happy about it I must consciously understand why I dislike it. Otherwise it remains in my mind as unfinished business."
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Offline Dundonnell

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Re: David Matthews(1943-)
« Reply #36 on: February 06, 2009, 03:23:29 PM »
I'd say he's somewhere in the Britten-Tippett continuum, but not as cranky as St. Augustine or Tippett's 4th.

Suspecting that vandermolen is perhaps not the greatest fan of either Britten or Tippett ;D I was trying to think of any other composers to whom I could compare Matthews :)

You are of course quite right in what you say- although I certainly would not want to play down the lyricism present in the music and certainly very evident in the Cello concerto and 'A Vision and a Journey'(both of which I was listening to earlier on the new Chandos cd). I haven't yet heard the 6th Symphony-the one with the RVW quotation.

Offline vandermolen

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Re: David Matthews(1943-)
« Reply #37 on: March 05, 2009, 03:01:43 PM »
Suspecting that vandermolen is perhaps not the greatest fan of either Britten or Tippett ;D I was trying to think of any other composers to whom I could compare Matthews :)

You are of course quite right in what you say- although I certainly would not want to play down the lyricism present in the music and certainly very evident in the Cello concerto and 'A Vision and a Journey'(both of which I was listening to earlier on the new Chandos cd). I haven't yet heard the 6th Symphony-the one with the RVW quotation.

Actually I quite like the Tippett of the Concerto for Double String Orchestra and the first two symphonies. I have listened to the David Matthews Dutton CD with symphonies 1, 3 and 5 on. I was a little disappointed with the first two, on first hearing, but No 5 I liked. I'm sure that I will like them better with repeated listens.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Offline Dundonnell

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Re: David Matthews(1943-)
« Reply #38 on: March 05, 2009, 06:38:48 PM »
Once again you are ahead of me! Although Presto have now sent me the Butterworth and the Arnell/Pitfield/Creich cds the Matthews has not yet arrived. I have not yet had time to listen to either of the Dutton-still working my way through a large backlog of new discs-but will do so, hopefully, tomorrow(today).

Offline vandermolen

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Re: David Matthews(1943-)
« Reply #39 on: March 07, 2009, 07:03:57 AM »
Once again you are ahead of me! Although Presto have now sent me the Butterworth and the Arnell/Pitfield/Creich cds the Matthews has not yet arrived. I have not yet had time to listen to either of the Dutton-still working my way through a large backlog of new discs-but will do so, hopefully, tomorrow(today).

Colin,

I look forward to hearing what you think of the Matthews and the Arnell in particular.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).