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Symphony No.5, Op.78

Category Orchestral > Symphonies
Composed 1998-1999
Duration (approx) 22 minutes

2.(II=picc). 2.(II=ca). 2.2 - 2210 - perc (1): tamb/susp. cym/ch. cym/tam-t/BD - (harp) - strings.
Alternative orchestration Op. 78a for larger orchestra

Recording(s) Symphonies Nos. 1, 3 & 5
Publisher Faber Music

Britten Sinfonia with funds from the Arts
Council of England and Eastern Arts Board

First performance 17 August 1999
Venue BBC Proms, Royal Albert Hall
Orchestra / Ensemble Britten Sinfonia
Conductor Nicholas Cleobury
Review Musical Opinion, Autumn 1999

David Matthews’s Fifth Symphony, easily the best of the new and recent works I’ve heard at this year’s Proms and very well played. In four movements, scored for a Schubert Orchestra plus one percussionist, this composer demonstrated a mastery of his craft in an original and compelling musical work that held my attention throughout. The first movement particularly is magnificent, and the textural use of a ripieno-like String Quartet was but one intriguing feature of the scoring. The constant drum part in the Scherzo could be toned down dynamically, and if at first I thought the final apotheosis was too readily achieved, the sudden and wholly unexpected extended Coda balanced it excellently.