David Matthews composer

Previous  |  Next


Winter Passions


Record label  NMC Recordings
Recording code  NMC D152
Number of discs  1
Total playing time  74'41
Release date  2010
Buy from  NMC Recordings

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:

Track   Duration   Sample   Work
1   14'10     Terrible Beauty, Op.104
2-3   15'30   Play   Clarinet Quartet, Op.35
4   10'35     Marina, Op.44
5-8   11'05     String Trio No.1, Op.48
9   12'12   Play   String Trio No.2, Op.89
10-13   10'24   Play   Winter Passions, Op.77


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.