David Matthews

David Matthews











David Matthews’s website

Faber Music

“We were happy to assign the wonderful tenth sonata, opus 96, to David Matthews, whose impressionistic use of colour and texture seem ideally suited to that particular work.” Krysia Osostowitz

Programme Note:

David Matthews – Sonatina (companion to Beethoven sonata no 10 in G)

“Beethoven’s music means more to me than that of any other composer. Both in his life and his music he still seems as contemporary as any artist living today. So it’s a privilege to write a piece that will express my admiration for him, and the debt I owe him.

When Krysia Osostowicz and Daniel Tong asked me to write a companion to one of Beethoven’s violin sonatas, I chose his last sonata, op.96 in G, which has long been my favourite. I conceived the idea of a short sonatina modelled on Beethoven’s formal and tonal plan, but severely curtailed in length. My first three movements even have the same tempo indications, though my finale is much faster than Beethoven’s Poco Allegretto. The wonderful trill at the start of op.96 plays an important part in all my four movements.

The movements follow through without a break, and are all based on the same material. The first is an extremely concise sonata movement, with first and second subjects in the “correct” keys of G and D, a development that follows Beethoven’s own sequence of modulations, a recapitulation in the home key, and a coda. All this takes less than two minutes. The slow movement, in Beethoven’s E flat (though tonally more adventurous and ending in C minor) uses my first movement’s initial rising octave and the opening phrase of the second subject. The G minor scherzo lasts only a minute; in the central trio the violin plays entirely in natural harmonics. The boisterous finale is also in an abbreviated sonata form, and towards the end there is a brief slow section, paralleling the one in Beethoven’s finale – in my case, a reminiscence of the slow movement.

I composed the Sonatina in a week at the beginning of Autumn 2013, but then revised it extensively over the next four months. It is dedicated to Krysia and Daniel, two musicians I greatly admire.” David Matthews

Related News and Reviews

Monday, 09 November 2015  

The fifth recital in the Beethoven Plus series was also the final event in this year’s Sound Festival, featuring Beethoven’s violin sonatas nos. 2 and 4, and completing this remarkable musical odyssey with his final sonata, op. 96 in G. The three new commissions in this concert were delightfully varied.  (read more…)