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Matthews: Music Of Dawn, Concerto In Azzurro, A Vision & A Journey


Release Date: 02/24/2009 
Label:  Chandos   Catalog #: 10487   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  David Matthews
Performer:  Guy Johnston
Conductor:  Rumon Gamba
Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Philharmonic Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
CD not available: This title is currently only available as an MP3 download.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews



MATTHEWS The Music of Dawn. Concerto in azzurro. 1 A Vision and a Journey Rumon Gamba, cond; Guy Johnston (vc); 1 BBC P CHANDOS 10487 (70:53)


This collection of three orchestral works by British composer David Matthews shows off a musician with a fondness for the big gesture, in a mid-20th-century kind of sensibility. His language is largely tonal and highly emotive, and his craft is at a Read more level that makes this combination of attributes cohere into a satisfying listening experience. The seven-section The Music of Dawn , from 1990, is encumbered by a programmatic conception. Perhaps it is time to ban the depiction of sunrises in music; Matthews employs the usual hackneyed gestures here to suggest nature, including the inevitable grand crescendos. I probably would have enjoyed this more if it were called, say, an orchestral suite. There is plenty of good writing in it, with an especially deft sense for instrumental color blending.


The Concerto in azzurro , relieved of extraneous baggage, works better, deriving a structural integrity from classical formality, even though it is written in a single movement. This is essentially a cello concerto, written for Steven Isserlis in 2002. The present soloist, Guy Johnston, delivers the goods with agility and passion. The third work, the earliest (first played in 1993, and revised in 1999) is richly scored and fitfully dramatic, in the darkly hued manner of the Eastern European tradition.


In all, this is a high-toned and conservative outing, presented with the usual aplomb of Chandos. Nothing groundbreaking here, just some delicious meat and potatoes, and very well prepared, at that.


FANFARE: Peter Burwasser
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Works on This Recording

1.
The Music of Dawn, Op. 50 by David Matthews
Conductor:  Rumon Gamba
Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1989-1990 
2.
Concerto in Azzurro, Op. 87 by David Matthews
Performer:  Guy Johnston (Cello)
Conductor:  Rumon Gamba
Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 2000-2002 
3.
A Vision and a Journey, Op. 60 by David Matthews
Conductor:  Rumon Gamba
Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1992-1993 rev 1999 

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