Mathias: Clarinet Concerto, Harp Concerto, Piano Concerto

Release Date: 2/13/2007
Label: Lyrita
Catalog Number: SRCD325
Composer: William Mathias
Conductor: David Atherton
Number of Discs: 1

Physical Format:

Low Stock
Notes and Editorial Reviews

There is no finer work in the medium than William Mathias' Harp Concerto, a stunning combination of characterful melody and magical handling of texture. The finale in particular must be counted as one of the most successful concerto movements in the 20th-century literature for any instrument, and this performance featuring the work's dedicatee Osian Ellis is just about perfect in every way. Why this piece isn't a concert staple remains a mystery. The other two works in their individual ways are also very satisfying and well worth hearing, if perhaps not quite as remarkable as the Harp Concerto.

Gervase de Peyer gives a fearless account of the Clarinet Concerto, a piece that vacillates between mellow lyricism and strident outbursts. The thematic material here isn't quite as memorable (to me at least) as that in the Harp and Third Piano Concertos. This latter lives squarely in the school of Bartók and Prokofiev, with a "night music" central movement and a finale that sounds like an amalgam of Bartók's Second, Barber, and Ginastera, albeit with a Welsh musical accent. Peter Katin is the excellent soloist, David Atherton conducts splendidly, and the recording is of the very highest quality. Outstanding and essential for anyone who enjoys really good 20th-century concertos.

--David Hurwitz,
Works on This Recording
1. Concerto for Clarinet, Op. 68 by William Mathias
Performer: Gervase de Peyer (Clarinet)
Conductor: David Atherton
Orchestra/Ensemble: New Philharmonia Orchestra
Period: 20th Century
Written: 1975 ; Wales, UK
2. Concerto for Harp, Op. 50 by William Mathias
Performer: Osian Ellis (Harp )
Conductor: David Atherton
Orchestra/Ensemble: London Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century
Written: 1970 ; Wales, UK
3. Concerto for Piano no 3, Op. 40 by William Mathias
Performer: Peter Katin (Piano)
Conductor: David Atherton
Orchestra/Ensemble: London Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century
Written: 1968 ; Wales, UK
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