A symphony to hold close and to savour

From the Lebrecht Album of the Week:

… His ninth symphony, receiving its world premiere on this release, is a kind of summation. Starting with a self-composed carol and extending to a Bach chorale, it represents the best of British creativity in its craftsmanship, its moderation and its lucid rationale. The language, while tonal, is two generations beyond Vaughan Williams and the narrative reflects something of a thinking man’s struggle to maintain a reasoned equilibrium in a threatened universe….

Read on here.

And here.


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  • This is simply shilling/marketing for another.

    This is awful: “The language, while tonal, is two generations beyond Vaughan Williams…. .”

    I suspect that Vaughan Williams will be remembered for more than 2 generations beyond this album is forgotten.

  • This recording is not the world premiere of the symphony. That took place in a concert in Bristol in May, 2018.

  • When you say “world premier” do you mean it’s never been played before? No live concert? That a recording is it’s first appearance to the world? If so, that’s really tragically sad and a severe indictment of today’s performers, conductors and audiences. Matthew’s music is wonderfully lucid, listenable and worthwhile. But orchestras world-wide seem to have their needles stuck replaying the worn out, tired, well-known repertoire of the 19th c. David Matthews’ symphonies should be heard all over – creative, beautiful and just good music is not dead – it’s just being ignored. Thank you for promoting this wonderful music and it’s composer.

  • We’re a little bemused here at the ESO offices over the confusion about this “world premiere” recording of David Matthews’ Ninth Symphony. We were proud to give the world premiere performance in Bristol almost exactly a year ago. This is the world premiere recording of the work, recorded the day before that concert. The concert was part of a year-long celebration of David Matthews’ music called David Matthews in the Heart of England presented bystanders us, the Orchestra of the Swan and the Elgar Festival. The final concerts in that series are in Stratford on the 28th of May and Worcester on the 2nd of June

    As far as we know, pretty much every recording of a piece not recorded before is released as a “world premiere recording”, as is this one. It has been this way for at least thirty years, we think.

    Give it a listen! We hope you enjoy

  • I haven’t heard as yet Matthews’ 9th but of what I have heard of his music, he is a marvellous talent with some of the best music written in England after WW II. Often his orchestral palette has a flamboyant and intense palette bordering on Szymanowski’s, and it is always logical, things developing one from another in a natural way. Especially his ‘Concerto in Azzurro’ is a spectacular piece, deserving much more exposure than it had, but fortunately there is an excellent recording:


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