Colin Matthews’s 21-minute symphonic palimpsest Traces Remain (2013) is a melancholy but touching tangle of spectral allusions to a host of lost or unfinished works. An imagined wisp of Schoenberg’s lost orchestration of Beethoven’s Adelaide, a tender lute song by Robert Johnson, fragments from Sibelius’s Eighth Symphony and an unused sketch for Mahler’s Tenth all rub shoulders in this intriguing and moving rumination on memory and dissolution. Masterfully orchestrated – with muted, threadbare solos hidden in the back desks of the strings and even the evocative rustling of newspaper – this echo chamber of musical pasts and presents receives its Finnish premiere in September, with John Storgårds conducting the Tampere Filharmonia.
‘Traces Remain has a sort of ferocious nostalgia that breaks through any artifice… As the piece gropes for resolution it feels like a real journey.’
The Times (Neil Fisher), 10 January 2014