Record label NMC Recordings
Recording code NMC D152
Number of discs 1
Total playing time 74'41
Release date 2010
Buy from NMC
Recorded at Coombehurst Studio, University of Kingston, Kingston-upon-Thames
Recorded on 17-19 April 2009
Orchestra / ensemble Nash Ensemble
Conductor Lionel Friend
Soloists / artists Susan Bickley (mezzo-soprano), Stephan Loges (baritone)
Includes the following works:
Stephen Johnson, Classical Music
Here’s something rare: a disc of contemporary vocal and chamber music that gets better as it goes along...
The writing has many of David Matthews’s familiar strengths: a fine sensuous imagination, adventurous harmony that makes clear aural sense, an equally clear sense of organic development of ideas...
...in the four Pushkin settings (in translation) that comprise Winter Passions the vocal line springs to life - partly a tribute to the singing of baritone Stephan Loges, but only partly - and even the instrumental writing seems quickened by it. This is a wonderfully rich cycle, which seems to contain far more than its ten-minute span should allow.
Just as impressive is the Second String Trio - not a medium that comes naturally to many composers, but Matthews makes a vehicle for music as energetic, impassioned and strongly sustained as in any of the symphonies. It’s hard to imagine this music played, sung, or recorded better.