Author Topic: David Matthews(1943-)  (Read 23170 times)

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Offline Rabbity Baxter

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Re: David Matthews(1943-)
« Reply #40 on: March 07, 2009, 04:08:09 PM »
It is one of those weird things that I have got to know David M quite well, far better than Colin M (who I bump into only occasionally) but I don't actually know his music properly. Despite the fact that we have often discussed the work of all those early 20th-C composers that really appeal to us both. And I suspect -- from what I learn -- I will be quite a fan of his. I must ring up Faber's and persuade them to pop a CD in the post.l

Offline Dundonnell

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Re: David Matthews(1943-)
« Reply #41 on: March 13, 2009, 03:39:15 PM »
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.

Not surprisingly I am in agreement with you ;D

Nos. 1 and 3 are somewhat akin to No.4 in being a bit opaque. Technically interesting but lacking in colour, emotion, passion, soul.....call it what you will.
They are not works I would necessarily rush to listen to again-although I shall.  No.5 though is more red-blooded, more colourful. I get a greater sense of a composer being willing to pour more of himself into the music. It seems a more expansive work-despite the fact that it is very little longer than its companions.

Now I am really looking forward to hearing No.6 which was so successful at the Proms.

Offline vandermolen

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Re: David Matthews(1943-)
« Reply #42 on: March 14, 2009, 01:55:30 AM »
Not surprisingly I am in agreement with you ;D

Nos. 1 and 3 are somewhat akin to No.4 in being a bit opaque. Technically interesting but lacking in colour, emotion, passion, soul.....call it what you will.
They are not works I would necessarily rush to listen to again-although I shall.  No.5 though is more red-blooded, more colourful. I get a greater sense of a composer being willing to pour more of himself into the music. It seems a more expansive work-despite the fact that it is very little longer than its companions.

Now I am really looking forward to hearing No.6 which was so successful at the Proms.

Colin - did you hear No 6 when it was at the Proms? If so what was it like? I must confess that, unlike the Butterworth Symphony No 4, which I greatly enjoyed, I have hardly listed to the Matthews CD - but will go back to it - especially Symphony No 5. I am still waiting to hear your views of Arnell's Violin Concerto - so kindly get on with listening to it  :)
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

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Offline Dundonnell

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Re: David Matthews(1943-)
« Reply #43 on: March 14, 2009, 06:34:45 AM »
Colin - did you hear No 6 when it was at the Proms? If so what was it like? I must confess that, unlike the Butterworth Symphony No 4, which I greatly enjoyed, I have hardly listed to the Matthews CD - but will go back to it - especially Symphony No 5. I am still waiting to hear your views of Arnell's Violin Concerto - so kindly get on with listening to it  :)

No, I haven't heard the Matthews 6th but the reviews of the Proms performance were highly encouraging(see the quotes on the Matthews website).

Arnell's Violin Concerto is by far the best piece on the new Dutton cd-immeasurably superior to the Creich or the Pitfield. I am not quite as struck by it as the gloriously red-blooded and exciting Piano Concerto(but then I usually prefer piano concertos anyway!) but it is certainly an attractive piece. I would have much preferred however if Dutton had coupled it with the other Arnell violin concerto(the Concerto Capriccioso)....however, according to the Richard Arnell website, that second concerto will be recorded this year while Martin Yates is also recording or has already recorded the complete Ballets 'Punch and the Child' and 'Harlequin in April' :) Now...what about the 'Robert Flahery' Portrait and the second piano concerto 'Sections' ;D

(Now how is that for going off topic ;D)

Offline vandermolen

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Re: David Matthews(1943-)
« Reply #44 on: March 14, 2009, 07:04:43 AM »
No, I haven't heard the Matthews 6th but the reviews of the Proms performance were highly encouraging(see the quotes on the Matthews website).

Arnell's Violin Concerto is by far the best piece on the new Dutton cd-immeasurably superior to the Creich or the Pitfield. I am not quite as struck by it as the gloriously red-blooded and exciting Piano Concerto(but then I usually prefer piano concertos anyway!) but it is certainly an attractive piece. I would have much preferred however if Dutton had coupled it with the other Arnell violin concerto(the Concerto Capriccioso)....however, according to the Richard Arnell website, that second concerto will be recorded this year while Martin Yates is also recording or has already recorded the complete Ballets 'Punch and the Child' and 'Harlequin in April' :) Now...what about the 'Robert Flahery' Portrait and the second piano concerto 'Sections' ;D

(Now how is that for going off topic ;D)

Many thanks Colin. I shall hold off buying the Arnell VC, for a while anyway.
"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 vandermolen

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Re: David Matthews(1943-)
« Reply #45 on: September 04, 2011, 09:49:44 AM »
Having not been that impressed with the Dutton CD featuring David Matthews CD with Symphony 5 etc on I kind of reluctantly just bought the one with symphonies 2 and 6 on, having read good things about Symphony No 6.  I'm so glad that I did!  I have been playing Symphony No 6 continuously since (notwithstanding visits to the 'unsung composers' website). Matthews writes in the notes that as a teenager, first becoming interested in classical music, he was especially influenced by two tragic sixth symphonies; namely those by Mahler and Vaughan Williams. Although not derivative and in a different idiom (tonal but more modern), the spirit of Vaugan Williams's 6th does hover over this work, which is to some extent based on the Down Ampney hymn, set memorably by Vaughan Williams.  The other composer whom I was reminded of occasionally was Malcolm Arnold - but David Matthews's Symphony No 6 is a very original, searching, troubled, visionary and ultimately moving work which gets better and better.  For me it is one of the best contemporary symphonies I have heard (2003-2007).  The Vasks Symphony No 2 is the other one. There are three movements - including a very short scherzo, sandwiched between two fairly massive movements. Some of the massively explosive sections reminded me of 'Sinfonia Antartica' - certainly the landscape painted is a very bleak one, although ultimately consoling with the quoting (after a terrifically gripping section, conveying a sense of hushed expectancy towards the end of the last movement) of 'Down Ampney' in Matthews's, not Vaughan Williams's arrangement The whole thing lasts almost 40 minutes, but had me gripped throughout.
« Last Edit: September 04, 2011, 09:58:41 AM by vandermolen »
"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 #46 on: September 04, 2011, 10:59:51 AM »
So pleased to hear that you like the Matthews' 6th, Jeffrey :) It IS good isn't it....quite the best of his symphonies I think. There is now a 7th Symphony which I presume Dutton will record at some point to complete the set ;D

Offline vandermolen

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Re: David Matthews(1943-)
« Reply #47 on: September 04, 2011, 11:34:55 AM »
So pleased to hear that you like the Matthews' 6th, Jeffrey :) It IS good isn't it....quite the best of his symphonies I think. There is now a 7th Symphony which I presume Dutton will record at some point to complete the set ;D
Thanks Colin - I knew you'd respond  :D. Yes, it's a great work, which I can't stop playing.  I think that even though it's very much of its time, it is also part of the great tradition of British 'landscape' symphonies. It  seems to looks both backwards and forwards at the same time. Above all it is a genuinely inspired, thought-provoking and memorable.
"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 #48 on: September 04, 2011, 11:50:06 AM »
It is a curious sensation, having been away from GMG for two years, to now return and re-read threads which I actually started myself so long ago :)

I had forgotten how many I did start (usually, of course, on fairly obscure composers!) ;D ;D

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: David Matthews(1943-)
« Reply #49 on: April 05, 2012, 04:08:16 PM »
Being a huge Tippett fan, it was only a matter of time before I discovered David Matthews. :) I ordered all of the Dutton CDs with his symphonies and concerti. I also ordered two NMC recordings: one of which features the 4th symphony. I would seriously say if you're not that impressed with Tippett's music then more than likely you'll not respond much to Matthews' music. But that's just based on the what little music I've heard like his Symphony No. 4 which I sampled via NML.
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Offline classicalgeek

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Re: David Matthews(1943-)
« Reply #50 on: April 05, 2012, 04:32:58 PM »
So pleased to hear that you like the Matthews' 6th, Jeffrey :) It IS good isn't it....quite the best of his symphonies I think. There is now a 7th Symphony which I presume Dutton will record at some point to complete the set ;D

Yes - Matthews' Seventh was premiered last year at the 'Mahler in Manchester' concert series, performed at the same concert as the Mahler Seventh.  Each Mahler symphony was paired with a new, commissioned work.

The whole series is available for download from the Concert Archive forum, if you don't want to wait for the CD. :)  I have it in my backlog, so I haven't heard the Matthews 7th yet, but I've liked what I have heard of his...

Offline Dundonnell

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Re: David Matthews(1943-)
« Reply #51 on: April 05, 2012, 05:02:35 PM »
Any composer who has the guts to write symphonies when so many composers these days give their compositions all manner of silly  'new age' titles must have something going for him ;D ;D

Matthews, Maxwell Davies and McCabe (the three Ms) are the three leading British symphonists still going and all three are extremely fine composers :)
« Last Edit: April 06, 2012, 02:53:14 AM by Dundonnell »

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: David Matthews(1943-)
« Reply #52 on: April 05, 2012, 09:54:04 PM »
I think Colin pointed David Matthews' website out already but here's a link:

http://www.david-matthews.co.uk/homepage.asp

It's a nice site and gives a lot information about the composer and his music.
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Offline calyptorhynchus

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Re: David Matthews(1943-)
« Reply #53 on: April 05, 2012, 09:57:34 PM »
I've listened to most of his available works and 10/10 from me.

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: David Matthews(1943-)
« Reply #54 on: April 05, 2012, 10:05:02 PM »
I've listened to most of his available works and 10/10 from me.

Very cool, calyptorhynchus. 8) Do you have any favorite works? Anything that stands out above the rest to you?
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Offline Mirror Image

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Re: David Matthews(1943-)
« Reply #55 on: April 06, 2012, 10:05:27 AM »
The Vasks Symphony No 2 is the other one.

I haven't been too impressed with Vasks' music. I have all of those Ondine releases and I think I've only listened to them once. Perhaps I need to revisit them at some juncture.
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Offline vandermolen

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Re: David Matthews(1943-)
« Reply #56 on: April 06, 2012, 02:32:15 PM »
I haven't been too impressed with Vasks' music. I have all of those Ondine releases and I think I've only listened to them once. Perhaps I need to revisit them at some juncture.

No 2 is the best I think - it has a very moving ending and No 3 seems to take off from where No 2 ends.
"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 Mirror Image

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Re: David Matthews(1943-)
« Reply #57 on: April 06, 2012, 03:07:24 PM »
No 2 is the best I think - it has a very moving ending and No 3 seems to take off from where No 2 ends.

I'll give the 2nd a spin at some juncture.
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Offline calyptorhynchus

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Re: David Matthews(1943-)
« Reply #58 on: April 06, 2012, 05:31:56 PM »
Give the Dutton disk with the Symphonies 1, 3 and 5 a spin. The first two works are single movement, the 5th is the traditional 4 movements. All of them have amazing musical movement, great moments of lyricism and powerful passages that take your breath away. After that try the Toccata String Quartets disk (the first of a promised series). They're very good too.

(In fact generally, if someone recommends a composer to me I try the string quartets (if any) first. If they do these well it's likely they're pretty good all round).

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: David Matthews(1943-)
« Reply #59 on: April 06, 2012, 05:53:28 PM »
Give the Dutton disk with the Symphonies 1, 3 and 5 a spin. The first two works are single movement, the 5th is the traditional 4 movements. All of them have amazing musical movement, great moments of lyricism and powerful passages that take your breath away. After that try the Toccata String Quartets disk (the first of a promised series). They're very good too.

(In fact generally, if someone recommends a composer to me I try the string quartets (if any) first. If they do these well it's likely they're pretty good all round).

Thanks, I appreciate your feedback. I'm not sure when the three Dutton Matthews I have coming will arrive, but I'm simply going to try and listen to whatever arrives first. It may be the two NMC recordings that arrive before the Duttons and I'll just listen to these. I have found out many years ago that there's really no good starting point in a composer's output. You just have to get familiar with their musical language before you do anything else. Once you're familiar with that language, the emotional and intellectual elements of the music will hopefully ignite enough interest that you continue to listen and hopefully enjoy the music.
« Last Edit: April 06, 2012, 06:08:36 PM by Mirror Image »
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