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The Music Room => Composer Discussion => Topic started by: Dundonnell on December 15, 2008, 06:25:59 PM

Title: David Matthews(1943-)
Post by: Dundonnell on December 15, 2008, 06:25:59 PM
In my opinion one of the most impressive contemporary British composers is David Matthews, born in London in 1943. He is the elder brother of the composer Colin Matthews(the composer of the 'Pluto' movement whch has been recorded as an add-on to Holst's 'Planets'). A rare example of two brothers both being distinguished composers!

David Matthews has an excellent website-

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

and there is a short article about him-

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Matthews_(composer)

Matthews is a British composer very much in the traditions of Britten and Tippett but his music is also influenced by Mahler and his teachers Anthony Milner and Nicholas Maw. He has written six symphonies and both Nos. 5 and 6 were premiered at the Proms to considerable critical acclaim. Symphony No.6 is based around Vaughan Williams's hymn tune 'Down Ampney' and has a Brucknerian depth and, at times, feel. The 'Times' critic hailed Matthews as 'among our most conspicuous symphonists'(not exactly a very large band!) and 'among our stalwart adherents to tonality'.

There are a few works by Matthews already on disc(including Symphony No.4)-mainly on NMC-but 2009 bids to be a vintage year! Chandos will shortly release the Cello Concerto 'Concerto in Azzurro' coupled with two tone poems 'A Vision and a Journey' and 'The Music of Dawn' while that marvellously enterprising  small label Dutton will issue Symphonies Nos. 1, 3 and 5 and will be recording Nos. 2 and 6 in Swansea in February: http://www.david-matthews.co.uk/news/newsitem.asp?newsid=288&year=0

I find this very exciting news :) It is splendid when a composer of genuine substance gets this sort of proper treatment from a record label; not just one work to be followed a year or two later by a possible successor, but five symphonies recorded within five months of each other ;D I look forward to these releases with eager anticipation. I doubt if many others here have ever heard of Matthews but if you like modern, intelligent tonal music then you are in for a treat ;D

Title: Re: David Matthews(1943-)
Post by: vandermolen on December 16, 2008, 07:04:34 AM
I didn't realise that they were two separate composers! I have an old Unicorn CD with music by Colin Matthews (I think) which I didn't care for. The pointless Pluto piece tacked-on the end of The Planets (amusingly composed just when Pluto was downgraded as a planet) tended to influence me adversely but I must investigate David Matthews. I like Anthony Milner's music but have never cared much for Nicholas Maw's music, which I have tended to find rather pretentious.
Title: Re: David Matthews(1943-)
Post by: Dundonnell on December 16, 2008, 07:14:10 AM
I didn't realise that they were two separate composers! I have an old Unicorn CD with music by Colin Matthews (I think) which I didn't care for. The pointless Pluto piece tacked-on the end of The Planets (amusingly composed just when Pluto was downgraded as a planet) tended to influence me adversely but I must investigate David Matthews. I like Anthony Milner's music but have never cared much for Nicholas Maw's music, which I have tended to find rather pretentious.

Oh yes, Jeffrey...two separate brother composers! And-importantly-different in style!

Don't be put off if you didn't like Colin's music. You might well like David's ;D Have alook at the website and read the reviews for an indication of the nature of his work.

David Matthews is attempting to revive that apparently moribund musical form- the symphonic poem- as well :)
Title: Re: David Matthews(1943-)
Post by: vandermolen on December 16, 2008, 07:21:56 AM
Oh yes, Jeffrey...two separate brother composers! And-importantly-different in style!

Don't be put off if you didn't like Colin's music. You might well like David's ;D Have alook at the website and read the reviews for an indication of the nature of his work.

David Matthews is attempting to revive that apparently moribund musical form- the symphonic poem- as well :)

Will do Colin. Sounds very interesting. More Dutton CDs to be smuggled into the house no doubt  ;D

ps What's Symphony No 4 like? It seems to be the only one currently on CD.
Title: Re: David Matthews(1943-)
Post by: Dundonnell on December 16, 2008, 07:33:15 AM
Will do Colin. Sounds very interesting. More Dutton CDs to be smuggled into the house no doubt  ;D

ps What's Symphony No 4 like? It seems to be the only one currently on CD.

My admiration for the Dutton label has no bounds these days :) Arnell, W.H. Bell, Stanley Bate, Bainton, Boughton, Matthews....the list grows!

Matthews No.4 is scored for a very small orchestra-strings, flute, 2 oboes, 2 bassoons and 2 horns. I don't think that it has therefore the sort of impact that I expect from Nos. 5 and 6. I won't disguise the fact that this is 'modern tonal' music! It is not neo-romantic ;D But, as you have probably worked out by now ;D, I am a total sucker for symphonic music and when a modern British composer sticks to the traditional forms and attempts to breathe fresh life into those forms I am certainly prepared to make a big effort to appreciate what he is doing.
Title: Re: David Matthews(1943-)
Post by: Dundonnell on December 16, 2008, 07:36:47 AM
A review on Musicweb of the two big 'symphonic poems' "In the Dark Time" and "Chaconne"-

http://www.musicweb-international.com/classRev/2001/Apr01/matthews.htm

and the 4th Symphony-

http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2003/Aug03/Matthews_haywood.htm
Title: Re: David Matthews(1943-)
Post by: vandermolen on December 16, 2008, 07:41:15 AM
A review on Musicweb of the two big 'symphonic poems' "In the Dark Time" and "Chaconne"-

http://www.musicweb-international.com/classRev/2001/Apr01/matthews.htm

and the 4th Symphony-

http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2003/Aug03/Matthews_haywood.htm

Many thanks Colin. Clearly worth exploring.
Title: Re: David Matthews(1943-)
Post by: not edward on December 16, 2008, 11:29:18 AM
I had the original Collins Classics single issue of the 4th symphony; I find it an enjoyable piece, well-written without any pretensions towards being overly weighty. I've also hear some songs and short orchestral pieces on an old Unicorn disc. I'm glad to hear about these new issues and they'll have to go on my wishlist.

David's style is certainly very different from Colin's: less modernist, less eclectic; to me, heavily influenced by Mahler and Britten, in particular.
Title: Re: David Matthews(1943-)
Post by: The new erato on December 16, 2008, 01:53:46 PM
The new Gramophone issue I received today carry the news that Toccata Classics will issue all ten (!) of his string quartets.
Title: Re: David Matthews(1943-)
Post by: UB on December 16, 2008, 01:55:47 PM
I have been collecting David Matthews music since I bought a used copy of the 4th symphony on that Colin's cd with Nabarro conducting that Edward mentions. I have all of the symphonies except 6. Thanks to Radio 3 and an excellent program they put on two or three years ago I also have his oboe and viola concertos. Since this tread started I have listened to those concertos, his cello concerto and a couple of other works. I especially enjoy the oboe and viola concertos.

I have yet to come to appreciate the 5th symphony but the 4th continues to delight. Also the revised 1st symphony that was introduced I believe in 2007.

I agree with Edward about Britten's influence but I think there many of the tonal styles of the 20th century can be heard in his music.

Great news about the string quartets. I only know the 3rd and 6th. I look forward to all these new recordings of his music. Especially since it may introduce this fine composer to a wider audience.
Title: Re: David Matthews(1943-)
Post by: Guido on December 16, 2008, 02:03:05 PM
I have been collecting David Matthews music since I bought a used copy of the 4th symphony on that Colin's cd with Nabarro conducting that Edward mentions. I have all of the symphonies except 6. Thanks to Radio 3 and an excellent program they put on two or three years ago I also have his oboe and viola concertos. Since this tread started I have listened to those concertos, his cello concerto and a couple of other works. I especially enjoy the oboe and viola concertos.

I have yet to come to appreciate the 5th symphony but the 4th continues to delight. Also the revised 1st symphony that was introduced I believe in 2007.

I agree with Edward about Britten's influence but I think there many of the tonal styles of the 20th century can be heard in his music.

Great news about the string quartets. I only know the 3rd and 6th. I look forward to all these new recordings of his music. Especially since it may introduce this fine composer to a wider audience.

How have you listened to the cello concerto?
Title: Re: David Matthews(1943-)
Post by: some guy on December 16, 2008, 03:56:30 PM
I ... have never cared much for Nicholas Maw's music, which I have tended to find rather pretentious.

Anyone who makes a statement like that is being pretentious.

(Wait a tic, that means that I was just now being.... Doh!)
Title: Re: David Matthews(1943-)
Post by: Dundonnell on December 16, 2008, 04:08:01 PM
I am absolutely delighted to learn that I am not alone on here in liking the music of David Matthews :) I was going to say that I envied UB...but Dutton is shortly going to see to it that we have the opportunity to build up our own collections :)

I did wonder whether anyone would reply ;D
Title: Re: David Matthews(1943-)
Post by: UB on December 16, 2008, 09:35:59 PM
How have you listened to the cello concerto?

I recorded it from BBC sometime in 2007 - according to the lead in it was a recording made of the premiere of the work in October 2002. It is played by Steven Isserlis with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales conducted by Richard Hickox.
Title: Re: David Matthews(1943-)
Post by: Dundonnell on December 17, 2008, 07:25:31 AM
The Chandos recording is by the BBC Philharmonic under Rumon Gamba. It may be Isserlis as soloist.
Title: Re: David Matthews (1943-)
Post by: karlhenning on December 17, 2008, 08:10:20 AM
The Chandos recording is by the BBC Philharmonic under Rumon Gamba.

I've heard his viols many times  8)
Title: Re: David Matthews (1943-)
Post by: Dundonnell on December 17, 2008, 08:14:53 AM
I've heard his viols many times  8)

Ho, ho ;D

Where's the Ice Storm now, Karl??
Title: Re: David Matthews(1943-)
Post by: karlhenning on December 17, 2008, 08:19:10 AM
There are some poor folks still without power, I think.  Here in Boston, just some light snow earlier today (two-ish inches up around home) which has since changed to light rain . . . even this may have stopped now, could just be mist out there.
Title: Re: David Matthews(1943-)
Post by: Dundonnell on December 17, 2008, 08:21:21 AM
There are some poor folks still without power, I think.  Here in Boston, just some light snow earlier today (two-ish inches up around home) which has since changed to light rain . . . even this may have stopped now, could just be mist out there.

.....or coffee fumes ;D
Title: Re: David Matthews(1943-)
Post by: UB on December 17, 2008, 08:52:19 AM
Dundonnell - Thank you for starting this thread. I have not listened to David Matthews' music for many months and I had forgotten how much I liked most of his music.

This morning I have listened to his excellent Viola Concerto -Winter Remembered, the early work for orchestra September Music - which I can not say I much care for. I guess for me he does winter better than fall, and his absorbing - at least for me - symphonic fantasy A Vision and a Journey.
Title: Re: David Matthews(1943-)
Post by: UB 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.

Title: Re: David Matthews(1943-)
Post by: Christo 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!
Title: Re: David Matthews(1943-)
Post by: Dundonnell 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.
Title: Re: David Matthews(1943-)
Post by: Christo 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.
Title: Re: David Matthews(1943-)
Post by: Dundonnell 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 :)
Title: Re: David Matthews(1943-)
Post by: Christo 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?
Title: Re: David Matthews(1943-)
Post by: Dundonnell 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').
Title: Re: David Matthews(1943-)
Post by: Christo 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)

Title: Re: David Matthews(1943-)
Post by: Dundonnell 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
Title: Re: David Matthews(1943-)
Post by: Christo 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?  ::)
Title: Re: David Matthews(1943-)
Post by: Dundonnell 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
Title: Re: David Matthews(1943-)
Post by: Dundonnell 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
Title: Re: David Matthews(1943-)
Post by: vandermolen 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?
Title: Re: David Matthews(1943-)
Post by: Dundonnell 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

Title: Re: David Matthews(1943-)
Post by: vandermolen 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?
Title: Re: David Matthews(1943-)
Post by: not edward 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.
Title: Re: David Matthews(1943-)
Post by: Dundonnell 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.
Title: Re: David Matthews(1943-)
Post by: vandermolen 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.
Title: Re: David Matthews(1943-)
Post by: Dundonnell 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).
Title: Re: David Matthews(1943-)
Post by: vandermolen 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.
Title: Re: David Matthews(1943-)
Post by: Rabbity Baxter 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
Title: Re: David Matthews(1943-)
Post by: Dundonnell 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.
Title: Re: David Matthews(1943-)
Post by: vandermolen 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  :)
Title: Re: David Matthews(1943-)
Post by: Dundonnell 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)
Title: Re: David Matthews(1943-)
Post by: vandermolen 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.
Title: Re: David Matthews(1943-)
Post by: vandermolen 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.
Title: Re: David Matthews(1943-)
Post by: Dundonnell 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
Title: Re: David Matthews(1943-)
Post by: vandermolen 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.
Title: Re: David Matthews(1943-)
Post by: Dundonnell 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
Title: Re: David Matthews(1943-)
Post by: Mirror Image 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.
Title: Re: David Matthews(1943-)
Post by: classicalgeek 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...
Title: Re: David Matthews(1943-)
Post by: Dundonnell 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 :)
Title: Re: David Matthews(1943-)
Post by: Mirror Image 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.
Title: Re: David Matthews(1943-)
Post by: calyptorhynchus on April 05, 2012, 09:57:34 PM
I've listened to most of his available works and 10/10 from me.
Title: Re: David Matthews(1943-)
Post by: Mirror Image 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?
Title: Re: David Matthews(1943-)
Post by: Mirror Image 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.
Title: Re: David Matthews(1943-)
Post by: vandermolen 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.
Title: Re: David Matthews(1943-)
Post by: Mirror Image 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.
Title: Re: David Matthews(1943-)
Post by: calyptorhynchus 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).
Title: Re: David Matthews(1943-)
Post by: Mirror Image 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.
Title: Re: David Matthews(1943-)
Post by: calyptorhynchus on August 14, 2012, 12:18:04 AM
In mid July Toccata issued the String Quartets disk 2 (5 and 12).

 :)
Title: Re: David Matthews(1943-)
Post by: snyprrr on August 14, 2012, 12:59:30 PM
I liked his second album, but after that I think the sauce got to him.
Title: Re: David Matthews(1943-)
Post by: calyptorhynchus on August 15, 2012, 01:45:27 PM
The Twelfth Quartet is fabulous, a bit like an updated Beethoven Op 131, multi-movement, unity in diversity. A must-listen.
Title: Re: David Matthews(1943-)
Post by: snyprrr on August 16, 2012, 06:23:42 AM
I saw 'The Wind' (1928) last night, a Lillian Gish picture, with music by Carl Davis, orchestrated by David & Colin. The music was pretty creepy, perfectly befitting this odd 'merciless beauty of nature' film.
Title: Re: David Matthews(1943-)
Post by: John Whitmore on March 04, 2015, 12:28:02 AM
As a former player with the Leicestershire Schools S O I recently got hold of a tape from 1987. I think you may enjoy hearing it. Here's the link:
http://youtu.be/GBWjK7g8HXo
Title: Re: David Matthews(1943-)
Post by: calyptorhynchus on April 17, 2015, 08:50:04 PM
I've just posted a recording of the premiere of the Symphony No.8 at the AMF.

http://artmusic.smfforfree.com/ (http://artmusic.smfforfree.com/)

You have to create an account to see the downloads (free).
Title: Re: David Matthews(1943-)
Post by: Christo on May 10, 2015, 03:43:56 AM
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.

Please try the Second again - starting perhaps with the moving Finale (from minute 31 on). BTW, someone you happen to know wrote the booklet.  :)
Title: Re: David Matthews(1943-)
Post by: Mirror Image on May 11, 2015, 03:53:07 PM
Please try the Second again - starting perhaps with the moving Finale (from minute 31 on). BTW, someone you happen to know wrote the booklet.  :)

...Three years later. ;) I'll definitely give the 2nd another listen, but it may take a few more years to finally get motivated to listen to it. ;)

P.S. I had no idea you wrote the liner notes. Good stuff. 8)
Title: Re: David Matthews(1943-)
Post by: calyptorhynchus on February 11, 2016, 01:59:30 PM
Toccata have just issued the String Quartets vol 4, containing the SQ 11 and his Beethoven transcriptions for SQ.

I have bought it and downloaded, but haven't listened yet.

Title: Re: David Matthews(1943-)
Post by: calyptorhynchus on February 12, 2016, 05:50:33 PM
Now I have listened to it I can thoroughly recommend this disk (SQs Vol 4). The Beethoven transcriptions I can take or leave, I don't really see the point of them, but the SQ 11 is a magnificent work, a series of variations on a theme from one of Beethoven's Bagatelles (rather like Simpson's SQ 9 is a series of variations on a theme of Haydn, though this isn't on the scale of Simpson's work).

Looking forward to vol 5 (presumable SQs 7-9).
Title: Re: David Matthews(1943-)
Post by: calyptorhynchus on January 09, 2017, 09:41:56 PM
And now Toccata are issuing his complete Piano Trios:

https://toccataclassics.com/product/david-matthews-piano-trios/

 ;D
Title: Re: David Matthews(1943-)
Post by: calyptorhynchus on May 23, 2019, 12:35:05 PM
And now his Symphony No.9 and Double Concerto for Violin and Viola have been issued by Nimbus.

(I have downloaded this, but haven't listened yet).

 8)
Title: Re: David Matthews(1943-)
Post by: vandermolen on May 23, 2019, 07:52:39 PM
Please try the Second again - starting perhaps with the moving Finale (from minute 31 on). BTW, someone you happen to know wrote the booklet.  :)
OT

And very good they (the booklet notes) are too. Apparently their author found time between his tea parties with Vagn Holmboe etc to write them.
 :)

The Symphony 2 is probably my favourite by a living composer and I like No.3 very much as well.
Title: Re: David Matthews(1943-)
Post by: calyptorhynchus on May 23, 2019, 10:14:57 PM
The new Nimbus disk as awesome, all the works are great. Matthews really is our GLS (greatest living symphonist) (John Pickard is heir apparent).

Amused to see how influenced the first two movements of No.9 are by the first two movements of Robert Simpson's 4th.

 :D
Title: Re: David Matthews(1943-)
Post by: calyptorhynchus on June 01, 2019, 12:47:20 AM
I've just found that David Matthews SQ13 (in memoriam Peter Sculthorpe) is available on Youtube. It's for SQ and four singers.

It's very good.  ;D
Title: Re: David Matthews(1943-)
Post by: calyptorhynchus on June 03, 2019, 11:25:24 PM
And bbc radio 3 have just broadcast a performance of his Sinfonia (1995 rev 2015), an eight minute symphonic movement that’s an excellent introduction to his style.
It was broadcast on Monday 2 June in an afternoon concert. I think you have 28 days to catch it on their website.
Title: Re: David Matthews(1943-)
Post by: relm1 on January 22, 2021, 04:39:51 PM
I thought this album was excellent.  Very good and accessible contemporary music, atmospheric and dramatic in pristine sound.  Highly recommended.
(https://signumrecords.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/SIGCD647-orchard-scaled.jpg)
Title: Re: David Matthews(1943-)
Post by: vandermolen on January 23, 2021, 06:26:34 PM
This was well reviewed on the BBC Record Review programme yesterday:
(http://)
Title: Re: David Matthews(1943-)
Post by: André on June 07, 2021, 09:47:18 AM
Excerpts from a review of Matthews’ symphonies 1, 3 and 5 from a well-known music magazine:

« David Matthews (b. 1943) is clearly leading the way in symphonic writing in England - at least in his generation... His music is freely tonal, which means that his symphonies take from the structure of the great romantics, but his language moves in and out of standard tonality where the mood suits him (...) I found these symphonies cogently written, neatly phrased, and excellently performed (...) If one is to apply a label to Matthews, it must be that the man is a new sort of romantic; but I'll be swizzled if I know what kind. I can't stop playing this.

While this applied to another disc, I found myself in total agreement when listening - again and again - to nos 2 and 6

(https://img.discogs.com/oKAVyPJa6VGnThHYq64OQcn-7XI=/fit-in/600x600/filters:strip_icc():format(jpeg):mode_rgb():quality(90)/discogs-images/R-12207239-1530487688-7148.jpeg.jpg)

Although their language is clearly different I am clearly reminded of the effect the symphonies of Ib Norholm had on me many years ago: utterly individual and endlessly fascinating. I wish the Dutton disc of nos 1, 3 and 5 was available. Can’t find it anywhere  :(.
Title: Re: David Matthews(1943-)
Post by: calyptorhynchus on June 07, 2021, 11:30:37 AM
Like some other Dutton disks now OOP, the Matthews 1,3,5 Symphonies disk is available on iTunes  ;D

Matthews has all his symphonies recorded except No.8 and most of his orchestral and chamber works, but we are still waiting for Toccata to finish the cycle of his SQs (noise of fingers drumming on table).

Title: Re: David Matthews(1943-)
Post by: André on June 07, 2021, 03:11:02 PM
Like some other Dutton disks now OOP, the Matthews 1,3,5 Symphonies disk is available on iTunes  ;D

Matthews has all his symphonies recorded except No.8 and most of his orchestral and chamber works, but we are still waiting for Toccata to finish the cycle of his SQs (noise of fingers drumming on table).

I don’t do itunes. I need the physical cd... :).

The 8th has been recorded on the Signum label. It’s on my wishlist for a coming purchase:

(https://d1iiivw74516uk.cloudfront.net/eyJidWNrZXQiOiJwcmVzdG8tY292ZXItaW1hZ2VzIiwia2V5IjoiODg1NTA3MS4xLmpwZyIsImVkaXRzIjp7InJlc2l6ZSI6eyJ3aWR0aCI6OTAwfSwianBlZyI6eyJxdWFsaXR5Ijo2NX0sInRvRm9ybWF0IjoianBlZyJ9LCJ0aW1lc3RhbXAiOjE2MDg3Mjc1MDB9)
Title: Re: David Matthews(1943-)
Post by: vandermolen on June 07, 2021, 09:28:44 PM
I don’t do itunes. I need the physical cd... :).

The 8th has been recorded on the Signum label. It’s on my wishlist for a coming purchase:

(https://d1iiivw74516uk.cloudfront.net/eyJidWNrZXQiOiJwcmVzdG8tY292ZXItaW1hZ2VzIiwia2V5IjoiODg1NTA3MS4xLmpwZyIsImVkaXRzIjp7InJlc2l6ZSI6eyJ3aWR0aCI6OTAwfSwianBlZyI6eyJxdWFsaXR5Ijo2NX0sInRvRm9ybWF0IjoianBlZyJ9LCJ0aW1lc3RhbXAiOjE2MDg3Mjc1MDB9)
I also need the physical CD - my wife keeps telling that I could have my whole collection on an 'iPod' and could then chuck all the hard copies out  :o
I liked the new Matthews CD but not as much as his Symphony No.6
Title: Re: David Matthews(1943-)
Post by: J on June 09, 2021, 07:33:36 PM
I also need the physical CD - my wife keeps telling that I could have my whole collection on an 'iPod' and could then chuck all the hard copies out  :o
I liked the new Matthews CD but not as much as his Symphony No.6

Nos. 3 & 6 are the two I listen to.  After much repetition the others just don't engage me nearly as much.
Title: Re: David Matthews(1943-)
Post by: vandermolen on June 09, 2021, 10:40:58 PM
Nos. 3 & 6 are the two I listen to.  After much repetition the others just don't engage me nearly as much.
Yes, this is my experience as well Greg.
Title: Re: David Matthews(1943-)
Post by: foxandpeng on June 10, 2021, 03:55:06 AM
I also need the physical CD - my wife keeps telling that I could have my whole collection on an 'iPod' and could then chuck all the hard copies out  :o
I liked the new Matthews CD but not as much as his Symphony No.6

Space means I have to keep my collection digital. We don't have a small house, but when we factor in a ridiculous level of books (us), craft supplies and art objects (not me), and associated items (mostly not me, but us), CDs are 'objecta non grata' (yeah, I know) when digital is possible.

Matthews is on the list. With Lloyd. And Sawyers (to whom I have started to listen already).
Title: Re: David Matthews(1943-)
Post by: kyjo on June 10, 2021, 06:53:32 AM
Space means I have to keep my collection digital. We don't have a small house, but when we factor in a ridiculous level of books (us), craft supplies and art objects (not me), and associated items (mostly not me, but us), CDs are 'objecta non grata' (yeah, I know) when digital is possible.

Matthews is on the list. With Lloyd. And Sawyers (to whom I have started to listen already).

Oh, you haven’t explored Lloyd yet? :o Great treasures await you, my friend! He’s become one of my very favorite composers.
Title: Re: David Matthews(1943-)
Post by: vandermolen on June 10, 2021, 09:14:34 AM
Oh, you haven’t explored Lloyd yet? :o Great treasures await you, my friend! He’s become one of my very favorite composers.
There are some fine Lloyd works, especially symphonies 3,4,7,8,11 and 12, PC No.1 'Scapegoat' and PC No.3.
Title: Re: David Matthews(1943-)
Post by: kyjo on June 10, 2021, 03:10:57 PM
There are some fine Lloyd works, especially symphonies 3,4,7,8,11 and 12, PC No.1 'Scapegoat' and PC No.3.

I would add the 5th and 6th symphonies (which I prefer to the 3rd, 11th, and 12th, though those have great moments) Symphonic Mass, and Cello Concerto. The 4th and 7th are his undoubted masterworks.
Title: Re: David Matthews(1943-)
Post by: kyjo on June 10, 2021, 03:15:38 PM
On the topic of David Matthews, I enjoyed his recent 9th Symphony from this recording very much:



Colorful and accessible music in the great British symphonic tradition.
Title: Re: David Matthews(1943-)
Post by: Brian on June 10, 2021, 05:27:10 PM
On the topic of David Matthews, I enjoyed his recent 9th Symphony from this recording very much:

Colorful and accessible music in the great British symphonic tradition.
I listened to the Ninth (and Eighth) for the first time ever this afternoon and 9 might based on that one listening be in my personal top two or three symphonies by living composers. I need to listen to the rest of the Matthews cycle, clearly. Nine is structured really interestingly - starting so simply and happily, building to such power and emotion, and then an ending which is almost really really exciting but then pulls back slightly to be emotional instead.

I tweeted at the conductor, Kenneth Woods, that I think Matthews is the best living writer of fast music for orchestra. This might not be the case on reflection (Kalevi Aho and Gabriela Lena Frank come to mind now) but wait, no, maybe it is true.
Title: Re: David Matthews(1943-)
Post by: foxandpeng on June 11, 2021, 01:32:42 AM
Oh, you haven’t explored Lloyd yet? :o Great treasures await you, my friend! He’s become one of my very favorite composers.

There are some fine Lloyd works, especially symphonies 3,4,7,8,11 and 12, PC No.1 'Scapegoat' and PC No.3.

I would add the 5th and 6th symphonies (which I prefer to the 3rd, 11th, and 12th, though those have great moments) Symphonic Mass, and Cello Concerto. The 4th and 7th are his undoubted masterworks.

Thanks, all. Good to have some thoughtful recommendations for starting points. As soon as I have got past my initial exploration of Philip Sawyers, whose Symphony #1 is proving to be very rewarding (despite my not understanding serialism well, but enjoying the music itself as intuitively as I am able), I will be moving on to some George Lloyd. And David Matthews. It has been really good to see people here prodding Matthews, because there is an advantage in reading the comments of those who are more capable before I get there.