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2.(II=picc). 2.(II=ca). 2.2 - 2210 - perc (1): tamb/susp. cym/ch. cym/tam-t/BD - (harp) - strings.
Alternative orchestration Op. 78a for larger orchestra
Britten Sinfonia with funds from the Arts
Council of England and Eastern Arts Board
David Matthews’s Fifth Symphony, easily the best of the new and recent works I’ve heard at this year’s Proms and very well played. In four movements, scored for a Schubert Orchestra plus one percussionist, this composer demonstrated a mastery of his craft in an original and compelling musical work that held my attention throughout. The first movement particularly is magnificent, and the textural use of a ripieno-like String Quartet was but one intriguing feature of the scoring. The constant drum part in the Scherzo could be toned down dynamically, and if at first I thought the final apotheosis was too readily achieved, the sudden and wholly unexpected extended Coda balanced it excellently.