Usually despatched in 4 - 5 working days. (Available now to download.)
Divertimento was commissioned by and dedicated to Peter Pears for the 1982 Aldeburgh Festival.
Colin Matthews is active as administrator of the Holst Foundation, chair of the Britten Estate, and trustee of the Britten-Pears Foundation. He is also founder and Executive Producer of NMC Recordings.
NMC’s Ancora series is devoted to the reissue of important recordings of contemporary British works which have been deleted by other record labels.
The Brindisi Quartet’s recording of Matthews’ String Quartet No.2 is previously unreleased.
Colin Matthews worked with Benjamin Britten in Aldeburgh in the 1970s.
Colin is currently writing a violin concerto for Leila Josefowicz and the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra.
Colin Matthews: Divertimento for Double String Quartet
I. Aria capricciosa
III. Aria conclusa
Colin Matthews: Oboe Quartet No. 1
Oboe Quartet No. 1
Colin Matthews: Triptych
Colin Matthews: 5 Concertinos for Wind Quintet
I. Quasi improvisando
II. Molto vivo
III. Molto meccanico
Colin Matthews: String Quartet No. 2
II. Intermezzo 1: Prestissimo
III. Scherzo - Trio: Vigoroso - Brutale
IV. Interlude: Largo
V. Intermezzo 2: Chorale: L'istesso tempo
VI. Tempo giusto: Presto
22nd June 2008
“These reissues from other labels, plus a first release, make permanently available five of Matthews’s works from the 1980s. The Divertimento for Double String Quartet, performed by Divertimenti Ensemble under Oliver Knussen, intriguingly takes off from the opening chords of Strauss’s Metamorphosen. The brief Triptych, for piano quintet (Schubert Ensemble), exploits the double bass’s always slightly eerie melodic capacity and ends most unexpectedly. Melinda Maxwell is an eloquent soloist with Divertimenti in the one-movement Oboe Quartet No 1. The new release is of the brilliant, scurrying, elusive String Quartet No 2, in a 1996 recording of the revised version by the Brindisi Quartet.”
4th July 2008
“In this collection of Colin Matthews' chamber music from the 1980s, the most important item is the newcomer, a 1996 recording of Matthews' Second String Quartet. Completed in 1989, it's a taut, compelling piece that brings together all the ingredients of Matthews' musical language at the time and weaves them into a rigorous discourse that has an almost Elliott Carter-like energy and intensity.”
26th July 2008
“The performances are exemplary - most of them from the ensembles involved in the works' creation - and although some of the earlier recordings have had to be transferred from LP rather than master tape, the sound is clean and focused throughout.”
“These chamber works from the 1980s show Colin Matthews at his most buoyant, cresting the waves with exuberance and flair. His own voice is unmistakable and, in these pieces, all the more appealing for the compactness and directness of the way the music speaks.”
“Contemporary composers sink or swim in a sea of perplexingly diverse memories and stimuli – a condition that has been particularly acute since the 1970s. These chamber works from the 1980s show Colin Matthews at his most buoyant, cresting the waves with exuberance and flair. Whether he's reacting to a powerful emblem of late romanticism, as with the Divertimento's initial quote of chords from Strauss's Metamorphosen, or confronting turbulent, Ligeti-like avant-gardisms – the String Quartet No 2 – he is never in danger of being submerged by mighty models. His own voice is unmistakable and, in these pieces, all the more appealing for the compactness and directness of the way the music speaks. One strategy for ensuring stylistic independence is to lead a source, such as the opening gambit of Strauss's ambivalent, fervent lament, into uncharted waters which are more capricious than grief-stricken, fulfilling the Divertimento's promise to entertain with no hint of triviality. The first Oboe Quartet is another instance of purposeful impetuosity, cast in a form which owes as much to the English Fantasy tradition as to Germanic sonata schemes. While compactness reaches its apogee in the Triptych for piano quintet, a study in the very different capacities of piano and strings to sustain as well as to indulge in glittering display, the Five Concertinos for Wind Quintet make witty play with the ensemble's need to resist tendencies to converge into homogenous uniformity. Most powerful of all is the Second Quartet, in a revised version that keeps the balance between fast and slow impulses on a knife-edge throughout. These recordings may be on the dry side acoustically, but the performances fizz and brood to the manner born.”