Composed in 2005 to commemorate the rebuilding of Dresden’s Frauenkirche, Matthews’s dark-hued Berceuse for Dresden received its London premiere at the BBC Proms in August, with cellist Leonard Elschenbroich and the Hallé Orchestra under Sir Mark Elder.
Inspired by the Frauenkirche’s bells, Matthews transforms their pitches into arching solo lines, while their overtones provide the rich underlying harmonies. Recordings of the real bells, sounding from high in the Royal Albert Hall, brought the absorbing 11-minute work to an intense climax.
‘The mournfully expressive admixture of hope to grief, healing to despair, is extraordinarily moving.’
Classical Source (Mark Valencia), 16 August 2016
‘Touching… A song without words for the cello.’
The Guardian (Andrew Clements), 18 August 2016
‘A rich journey from elegy to cautious resurrection.’
The Times (Neil Fisher), 18 August 2016
‘It’s easy to imagine the goosebumps audience members would have felt at its world premiere.’
The Telegraph (Ben Lawrence), 18 August 2016
Also making an appearance at this year’s Proms was Pluto, the renewer, Matthews’s thrilling 6-minute appendix to Holst’s The Planets. The Guardian, reviewing the performance by The National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain under Edward Gardner, remarked on its ‘implicit and organic connection with the original suite.’