COLIN MATTHEWS was born in London in 1946. He studied with Arnold Whittall and Nicholas Maw; in the 1970s he was assistant to Benjamin Britten, and worked for many years with Imogen Holst. His collaboration with Deryck Cooke on the performing version of Mahler’s Tenth Symphony lasted from 1963 until its publication in 1975. Over four decades his music has ranged from solo piano music through five string quartets and many ensemble and orchestral works. He was Associate Composer with the London Symphony Orchestra between 1992 and 1999, and Composer-in-Association with the Hallé from 2001-10, now their Composer Emeritus.
Performers: Hallé Orchestra; Richard Watkins (horn); Henry Goodman (narrator), ; Sir Mark Elder (conductor), Edward Gardner (conductor)
“I’m not surprised that Colin Matthews says that he hugely enjoyed writing Alphabicycle Order, a setting of 26 nonsense poems by Christopher Reid. The young choristers are plainly having a ball, whilst Henry Goodman’s narration strikes the right note between mock-seriousness and an acknowledgment of the ridiculous. And the music is accessible in the best sense of that much over-and mis-used word: varied, concise, often intensely rhythmic, and very much in touch with the sentiments of the poems. The Horn Concerto is a much more serious affair, with the soloist’s lyrical lines competing with an offstage horn quartet… …Richard Watkins, who gave the first performance, makes the most of the character of the protagonist…”
BBC Music Magazine February 2009