Colin Matthews - Aftertones, Crossing the Alps, No Man’s Land
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Cat No: CDHLL7538
Number of Discs: 1
Release Date: 6th October 2014
ArtistsRoderick Williams (baritone)
Ian Bostridge (tenor)
Halle Youth Choir
Hallé marks the centenary of the First World War with a recording of an award winning work by Composer Emeritus Colin Matthews.
The main work on the recording, No Man's Land, follows on from Matthews’ very positive collaboration with Christopher Reid on Alphabicycle Order, written for Hallé in 2007, and stages a dialogue between the ghosts of two dead soldiers whose corpses are strung up on the barbed wire of no man's land.
Matthews describes himself as having being “obsessed” with the First World War for some while (his grandfather died on the Somme) but to having found it to be a difficult subject to treat musically. He had asked Christopher Reid to provide the text for this work, suggesting the concept of a soldier in the midst of war, almost unaware of what he's found himself in.
In the event, Reid’s sequence of poems provided something different: the ghosts of two soldiers hang on barbed wire in no man's land. The recording features leading vocal soloists Ian Bostridge and Roderick Williams, for whom the work was written.
No Man’s Land won the 2011 British Composer Award in the Vocal category.
Aftertones was commissioned by the Huddersfield Choral Society to mark the millennium and Matthews specifically chose to set poetry of the First World War because he felt that we cannot celebrate the twenty first century without absorbing the lessons of the twentieth.
Colin Matthews studied music at the Universities of Nottingham, and Sussex, where he also taught, and subsequently worked as assistant to Benjamin Britten from 1972 to 1976, and with Imogen Holst from 1971 to 1984. He collaborated with Deryck Cooke for many years on the performing version of Mahler's Tenth Symphony. Since the early 1970s his music, ranging from solo piano music through three string quartets and many ensemble and orchestral works, has been played worldwide by leading soloists, orchestras and conductors and has won numerous international awards.
Roderick Williams (baritone), Hallé Choir, Hallé / Nicholas Collon, conductor
- Crossing the Alps
Hallé Youth Choir / Richard Wilberforce
- No Man's Land
Ian Bostridge (tenor), Roderick Williams (baritone), Hallé / Nicholas Collon
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