Magazine article Musical Opinion

Sara Trickey and Daniel Tong - "David Matthews/Gabriel Fauré: 'Romanza'"

Magazine article Musical Opinion

Sara Trickey and Daniel Tong - "David Matthews/Gabriel Fauré: 'Romanza'"

Article excerpt

Romanza David Matthews: Adonis, Op.105; Aria for Violin and Piano, Op.41; Romanza for Violin and Piano, Op 119a/Fauré: Violin Sonata in A, Op 13; Romance in B-flat, Op 28

Sara Trickey, violin/Daniel Tong, piano ????? Deux-Elles DXL 1172 [66']

Combining Fauré with David Matthews does not immediately spring to mind but, in his liner notes, Matthews expresses admiration for Fauré, and both composers impress with an unforced lyricism and romantic impulse.

This content was carefully chosen by Sara Trickey, violin and her piano partner, Daniel Tong. Both have championed Matthews over many years and, in return Trickey has had works, including Adonis, written for her.

It is somewhat ironic that here we have shorter pieces by the symphonic master Matthews (his Ninth Symphony will be premiered in 2018) and a big, though early ambitious sonata by the generally accepted master miniaturist, Fauré (as heard in his delicious songs and piano works); so we have another reason for paying attention to the content on this CD.

In his note Matthews describes himself as "A romantic composer who uses classical forms". Well should we, therefore, expect a set of short works with an abundance of good tunes?

Perhaps, except these "tunes" come with a complete absence of sugar so that when a melody (and there are lots of them here) appears we must listen carefully for the derivation. This is not the romance of Tchaikovsky but the postmodern gleam of emotion as procured by a musical mind that admits its share of steel in the fabric of the melodic impulse.

There is a simplification of the structure to Matthews's melodies in his recent Romanza where he inserts, bravely but entirely appropriately, a waltz in 3/4 time in the middle section.

There are many works in Matthews's extensive catalogue that derive their impulse from various mythological sources and Adonis is one of them. …

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