Composed in 2002 for the cellist Steven Isserlis, Concerto in Azzurro is scored for solo cello and orchestra. Three distinct sections make up its unbroken 21-minute span: an energetic allegro, a scherzo, and lento finale. The Azzurro of the title refers to a very precise light blue emblematic of the sky on a bright sunny day, which Matthews experienced on the island of Lundy in the Bristol Channel when composing the work. “I conceived the rest of the concerto”, Matthews said, “as a kind of journey towards that ultimate blueness.”