Guy Johnston / Rumon Gamba - David Matthews: The Music of Dawn; Concerto in Azzurro; A Vision and a Journey

Guy Johnston / Rumon Gamba - David Matthews: The Music of Dawn; Concerto in Azzurro; A Vision and a Journey
Release Date:
February 24, 2009
David Matthews: The Music of Dawn; Concerto in Azzurro; A Vision and a Journey

If you wish they still wrote music like they did a century ago, the music of David Matthews is the music for you. In this Chandos disc of three world premieres, Matthews' music sounds like an adept combination of the harmonies and textures of Impressionism, the themes and tone of Expressionism, and the energy and color of various nationalistic styles. Well-played by the BBC Philharmonic and well-conducted by Rumon Gamba, Matthews' three scores -- The Music of Dawn, a symphonic poem from 1990; the Concerto in Azzurro, a cello concerto from 2002; and A Vision and a Journey from 1999 -- come off as finely polished and deeply felt, though ultimately not all that original. In these performances, Matthews' The Music of Dawn sounds like an updated version of "Day Break" from Ravel's Daphnis et Chloe with more melancholy melodies; the Concerto in Azzurro sounds like a more intimate version of Dvorák's Cello Concerto with the work's Czech nationalism replaced by generic pastoralisms; and A Vision and a Journey combines the fiery themes of Mahler with the watery harmonies of Debussy set in the earthy textures of Rachmaninov with the heavenly colors of Scriabin. But though he is by no means merely an epigone, Matthews lacks a sufficiently strong compositional identity to make his music instantly identifiable as his, and none of his pieces here linger long in the memory. With the talented and dedicated Guy Johnston as the cello soloist in the Concerto Azzurro, these performances make Matthews' music as attractive and engaging as possible, and Chandos' digital sound reproduces them with exemplary clarity.

The Music of Dawn, symphonic poem for orchestra, Op. 50
Very calm and stillRumon Gamba / Guy Johnston3:45
A tempo - PrestoRumon Gamba / Guy Johnston3:47
Tempo 1 - Più mosso - MisteriosoRumon Gamba / Guy Johnston4:50
Tempo 1 - very calm - Presto - Tempo 1Rumon Gamba / Guy Johnston4:10
Allegro vivaceRumon Gamba / Guy Johnston2:08
Sempre molto energico - Più mosso - Strepitoso - Subito più sostenutoRumon Gamba / Guy Johnston3:42
Meno mosso - Calmo e maestoso - Poco solenne - As at the startRumon Gamba / Guy Johnston4:44
Concerto in Azzurro, for cello & orchestra, Op. 87
Con moto appassionato - Lontano - L'istesso tempo, molto moderato - Tempo 1Rumon Gamba / Guy Johnston5:33
Molto vivace e sbalzato - Meno mossoRumon Gamba / Guy Johnston4:32
Half-note = c. 63 - Molto moderato e sostenuto - Poco più mosso - Poco a poco incalzando - EsultantRumon Gamba / Guy Johnston6:56
Poco lento, con calore - Molto serenoRumon Gamba / Guy Johnston6:55
A Vision and a Journey, symphonic fantasy for orchestra, Op. 60
Vivo - Broad, sustained - Poco più mossoRumon Gamba / Guy Johnston2:28
Ardente - Flowing - Poco più mosso - A tempo [Flowing]Rumon Gamba / Guy Johnston4:23
Precipitoso - Andante moderatoRumon Gamba / Guy Johnston4:15
Allegro - Clear, luminousRumon Gamba / Guy Johnston2:00
[Clear, luminous] - SostenutoRumon Gamba / Guy Johnston2:47
Molto tranquillo - Vivo - Allegro - A little broaderRumon Gamba / Guy Johnston3:50

2018 Download MP3 Albums