David Matthews: Music for Piano

Catalogue No: TOCC0166
EAN/UPC: 5060113441669
Release Date: 2013-03-04
Composer: David Matthews
Artists: George Vass, Laura Mikkola, Orchestra Nova

In his piano music, as in his symphonies and string quartets, the English composer David Matthews (b. 1943) marries the idiom of classical tradition with that of his own day. His 2009 Piano Concerto, Mozartian in spirit, contains both a tango and a blues; his Piano Sonata of 1989 includes jazz elements, and his 1997 Variations feature both blues and a homage to Beethoven. The moods range from contemplative introspection to fiery, rhythmic energy, captured here in feisty performances by the Finnish pianist Laura Mikkola, whom the composer describes as 'a marvellous exponent of my music'.

Laura Mikkola, piano
Orchestra Nova, orchestra
George Vass, conductor

Listen To This Recording:

    Piano Concerto, Op. 111 (2009)

  1. I Con moto moderato
  2. II Tango: Tempo di tango energico
  3. III Elegy: Largo e mesto
  4. IV Allegro con spirito
  5. Piano Sonata, Op. 47 (1989)

  6. I Allegro molto e ritmico
  7. II Andante
  8. III Allegro
  9. Variations for Piano, Op. 72 (1997)

  10. Theme: Allegro
  11. Var. 1: L’istesso tempo
  12. Var. 2: Poco più sostenuto
  13. Var. 3: Vivace e leggiero
  14. Var. 4: Un poco solenne
  15. Var. 5: Presto leggiero
  16. Var. 6: Allegro moderato
  17. Var. 7: Allegro drammatico
  18. Var. 8: Scherzando
  19. Var. 9: Molto vivace
  20. Var. 10: Scorrevole
  21. Var. 11: Presto ludovicioso
  22. Var. 12: Allegro
  23. Var. 13: Allegro di galoppo
  24. Var. 14: L’istesso tempo
  25. Var. 15: Con molta anima
  26. Var. 16: Slow blues
  27. Var. 17: Allegretto con precisione
  28. Var. 18: Andante appassionato
  29. Var. 19: Poco maestoso
  30. Var. 20: Moderate blues
  31. Var. 21: Allegro
  32. Var. 22: Lento e mesto
  33. Var. 23: Quasi recitativo, con licenza
  34. Var. 24: Andantino semplice
  35. Two Dionysus Dithyrambs, Op. 94 (2007 and 2004)

  36. No. 1 With steady, calm movement
  37. No. 2 Esultante
  38. One to Tango, Op. 51d (1990, arr. 1993): Tempo di tango

4 reviews for David Matthews: Music for Piano

  1. :

    ‘The orchestra under George Vass appear to be foot perfect and give every appearance of enjoying the experience. […]

    This Sonata is virtuoso music and Laura Mikkola is equal to it. Matthews describes her as ‘a marvellous exponent of my music’ and this performance proves the point. It is an exciting work and she is utterly in tune with its mood and demands. […]

    The recording is strong and immediate. The excellent CD booklet has two essays by the composer – ‘An Autobiographical Note’ and ‘The Piano and Me: A Belated Engagement’ – both of which are uncommonly fascinating.’

    —Gary Higginson, MusicWeb International

  2. :

    ‘I love this concerto. Laura Mikkola and the Orchestra Nova under George Vass couldn’t be better. […]

    There is stunning playing from Mikkola [in the sonata]. […]

    all [variations] brilliantly played by Laura Mikkola. […]

    A virtuoso piece [Dionysis Dithyrambs] with more, great playing from Laura Mikkola. […]

    The recording made in the Pamoja Hall at Sevenoaks School, Kent, England is excellent as are the notes by the composer. This is a fine new release that should be heard by all and not just those that are interested in British music.’

    —The Classical Reviewer

  3. :

    ‘In Laura Mikkola, Matthews finds a staunch advocate; she is fully possessed of the technique required and seems impeccably suited to the various modes of expression the composer uses. […]

    The Piano Sonata is given an excellent performance here. […] Mikkola has the timbral resources to make this a gratifyingly varied journey, and the return to simplicity at the close is most satisfying. […]

    Mikkola has the timbral resources to make this a gratifyingly varied journey, and the return to simplicity at the close is most satisfying.’

    —Colin Clarke, Fanfare Magazine October 2013

  4. :

    ‘The kaleidoscopic Variations (1997) are a tour de force of creative technique, spotlit by the tune’s transformed return at the close. Mikkola proves an ideal exponent of the music, and George Vass directs Orchestra Nova with skill in the Concerto. Toccata Classics are also releasing a fine series of Matthews’ string quartets, which I hope to cover in a later issue.’

    —Guy Rickards, Klassisk Musikkmagasin November 2013

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