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Symphony No.6, Op.100

Category Orchestral > Symphonies
Composed 2003-2007
Duration (approx) 35 minutes

3(III=picc & bfl).2.ca.3(II=Ebcl, III=bcl).cbcl.2 - 4331 - timp - perc(3): vib/mar/crot/tuned bells/bell plate/c.bell/cyms/3 susp.cym/ch.cym/small mcas/mcas/clapper/sleighbells/large gourd/tamb/gong/tam-t/snare drum/BD - harp - cel - strings


Incorporates Variation IV: Scherzo.

Related Works Variation IV: Scherzo, Op.100a
Recording(s) Symphonies Nos. 2 & 6
Publisher Faber Music

The John S Cohen Foundation to celebrate its 40th anniversary in 2005

First performance 1 August 2007
Venue BBC Proms, Royal Albert Hall, London
Orchestra / Ensemble BBC National Orchestra of Wales
Conductor Jac van Steen
Review Paul Driver, The Times, 12 August 2007

...you can forget any depiction of a “cow looking over a gate” (the famous slur on Vaughan Williams’s pastoral streak).Matthews’s cow jumps way across the planet. It mingles with Mahler’s alpine climes. The music is always on an exploratory journey, uncovering terror and beauty in a three-movement argument that keeps traditional symphonic procedures in the near distance – supporting but never stifling.Matthews has a lively ear for colour: I can still hear that ruminant contrabass clarinet and the marimba-vibraphone duel. But it’s his structural grip and the music’s inevitability that makes this symphony so successful. And important.

Geoff Brown, The Times, 6 August 2007:

Matthews’s new work confirms him among our most conspicuous symphonists, as well as among our stalwart adherents to tonality. In 2004 he wrote an orchestral scherzo based on Down Ampney for the Three Choirs Festival, only to realise the movement could be a centrepiece of a symphony. To go with it, he devised a big-boned, vigorous yet tantalising first movement, modelled on the development-lite first movement of Bruckner’s ninth symphony, and an adagio finale whose double-dotted tutti climax seems a nod to the closing adagio of Bruckner. The argument is not only firm but interesting; the sensibility deeply serious but adventurous, too, far from slavishly conservative; and there are memorable felicities, such as the scherzo’s glittering, frenetic cadenza for vibraphone and marimba. It is indubitably a work to listen to again.