Commissioned by Christian Gerhaher to create an arrangement of Berlioz’s Les nuits d'été for baritone and string sextet. Premiered at the Hindsgavl Festival, Denmark, on 18 July, the arrangement will travel to many other European venues including the Wigmore Hall and Schloss Elmau. Gerhaher is joined by a starry ensemble comprising Isabelle Faust, Anne Katharina Schreiber, Timothy Ridout, Danusha Waskiewicz, Jean-Guihen Queyras, and Christian Poltéra.
Matthews is no stranger to crafting such arrangements for the world’s leading singers: back in 2013 he arranged Brahms’ Vier Ernste Gesänge, and a selection of songs by Schubert and Wolf, for Thomas Hampson and Amsterdam Sinfonietta. In lockdown, he made a new reduced scoring of Mahler's Kindertotenlieder for Sarah Connolly and the BBC Philharmonic.