DAVID MATTHEWS (b.1943): Symphonies No. 2, Op. 17 & No. 6, Op. 100.
Catalogue Number: 05L009
Label: Dutton Epoch
Reference: CDLX 7243
Description: Britain's most dedicated living exponent of symphonic form is here represented by his Op.17, from the late '70s, and Op.100, from the early-mid '00s. His tonal vocabulary and adherence to some recognizable version of traditional symphonic structures is clearly apparent in both works; this is a composer who arrived at a mature individual idiom early on and has developed it systematically ever since, not one who has undergone radical reversals of style throughout his career. The Second features sections of the orchestra dominating sections of the piece, concerto-for-orchestra style, within a framework of the traditional four movements, though not in the conventional order. The Sixth is based in various permutations of Vaughan Williams hymn tune Down Ampney, with a somewhat Brucknerian opening, and references to Mahler (a composer with whom Matthews has long been associated), with both the scherzo and the extended slow finale being sets of variations on the theme. BBC National Orchestra of Wales; Jac van Steen.