This November Nikolai Szeps-Znaider conducted the Orchestre National de Lyon in Colin Matthews’ 2015 orchestration of Ravel’s Oiseaux Tristes from Miroirs in Lyon and the Philharmonie de Paris.
The world premiere of Matthews’ 4-minute orchestraion was given at the BBC Proms in August 2015 by the BBC Philharmonic conducted by Nicholas Collon; Collon conducted subsequent performances of the work with the Brussels Philharmonic in Brussels, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra at Symphony Hall, and the Residentie Orkest at Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw. Collon also conducted the premiere of Matthews’ other orchestration from Ravel’s Miroirs in 2016, La Vallée des Cloches.
No stranger to orchestrating Debussy, Colin Matthews found languid, hazy warmth in Ravel's Messiaen-anticipating hommage to the blackbird.
The Telegraph (John Allison), 8 August 2015
A phenomenal achievement to take on perhaps the master orchestrator of all time and match him at his own game.
The Arts Desk (David Nice), 8 August 2015
Oiseaux Tristes attests to Matthews’ mercurial imagination as an orchestrator, exemplified in his recent realisations of Claude Debussy’s Images and Préludes, which have been recorded by Gustavo Gimeno (with the Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg) and Mark Elder (with The Hallé) respectively. On 23 May François-Xavier Roth and the London Symphony Orchestra will premiere Matthews’ latest orchestral work Mosaics at the Barbican Centre.
Matthews has proved equally adept at reducing forces as he is at enlarging them, creating an acclaimed new piano trio arrangement of Beethoven’s Symphony No.5 in C minor in 2021 for Emanuel Ax, Yo-Yo Ma, and Leonidas Kavakos, released earlier this year through Sony. Matthews’ extensive catalogue of orchestrations also includes the surviving movement from Debussy’s early Symphony in B minor and Mahler’s Piano Quartet movement ‘Nicht zu Schnell’.