DAVID MATTHEWS (b.1943): Music for Solo Violin, Vol. 1 - 3 Studies, Op. 39, 15 Fugues, Op. 88, Winter Journey, Op. 32.

Catalogue Number: 09P062

Label: Toccata Classics

Reference: TOCC 0152

Format: CD

Price: $18.98

Description: The unusual cycle of fugues is yet another result of the fruitful collaboration between Matthews and the performer here. In various ways, the pieces are as technically challenging as the combination of their form and instrumentation would suggest, with as many as four parts in some cases, and a wide variety of technical and expressive challenges besides. Tonal, in fifteen 'of the most practical keys' for the violin, the individual fugues range from terse and chromatic to pastoral and bucolic, with Matthews characteristic birdsongs making appearances here and there. All are attractive pieces, each with a distinct character, often related to places or the friends and colleagues to whom they are dedicated. Winter Journey, a technically formidable, extended fantasy on motifs from Schubert's song cycle, is full of vivid imagery - mostly rather bleak, it has to be said - and emotional intensity. The studies are atmospheric character pieces even more than they are technical exercises, with a powerful sense of time and place in the composer's depiction of his beloved English landcape.

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