Taylor: Symphony 2, Viola Concerto
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Matthew Taylor: Symphony No. 2, Viola Concerto

Catalogue Number: TOCC0175
EAN: 5060113441751
Release Date: 1 July 2013
Duration: 59:00

Viola Concerto, Humoreskes, Op. 41
Symphony No. 2, Op. 10

Sarah-Jane Bradley, viola
BBC Symphony Orchestra, orchestra
Garry Walker, conductor

Matthew Taylor’s sense of musical architecture extends the symphonic tradition of Sibelius and Nielsen into the modern age, also acknowledging the symphonism of Robert Simpson, an important influence on Taylor’s style. The Second Symphony, first drafted when Taylor was only 27, responds to the challenge with a mighty explosion of energy, in a work his fellow-composer Robin Holloway described as ‘exceedingly powerful – tough, cogent, persuasive, compelling’. The more inward, reflective Viola Concerto pays homage in spirit, though not in style, to Sibelius’ Humoresker for violin and orchestra and Schumann’s Humoreske for piano.

Booklet texts   (PDF)

Track Listing, MP3 Downloads and Streaming Samples

Track No. Track Title / Details Duration Sample Add to Cart
1-5 Viola Concerto, Humoreskes, Op. 41 (2010)

Matthew Taylor, composer
Sarah-Jane Bradley, viola
BBC Symphony Orchestra, orchestra
Garry Walker, conductor

(first recording)
1 I Andante comodo 5:05 play
2 II Presto 1:56 play
3 III Larghetto 6:24 play
4 IV Molto Adagio 3:54 play
5 V Finale: Allegro riotoso 5:01 play
6-9 Symphony No. 2, Op. 10 (1991, rev. 1997, 2008)

Matthew Taylor, composer
BBC Symphony Orchestra, orchestra
Garry Walker, conductor

(first recording)
6 I Moderato e maestoso 11:41 play
7 II Vivacissimo – poco e poco stringendo – Presto 8:07 play
8 III Lento sereno 7:51 play
9 IV Allegro fluente 9:01 play


Matthew Taylor

Matthew Taylor, composer

Sarah-Jane Bradley

Sarah-Jane Bradley, viola
[credit: Hanya Chlala/ArenaPAL]

BBC Symphony Orchestra

BBC Symphony Orchestra, orchestra
[credit: Lara Platman]

Garry Walker

Garry Walker, conductor
[credit: Andy Buchanan]


...Bradley has made the piece very much her own and negotiates with great aplomb its frequent excursions into the viola’s upper register, as well as its idiomatically written double-stops.

Both Taylor’s Concerto and his Second Symphony – an even more impressively constructed composition – receive here definitive readings that have been most faithfully recorded.

Carlos María Solare The Strad 4th November 2013

...the performance is excellent and well recorded. The orchestra displays tight ensemble throughout. If you’ve responded to previous releases of Taylor’s music, you won’t need further convincing from me. His colorful, expertly scored music draws you in and always maintains a sense of propulsion and direction, even in its quieter moments. This release is strongly recommended.

From Issue 37:3 (Jan/Feb 2014) of Fanfare Magazine

Phillip Scott Fanfare November 2013

…the Second of Matthew Taylor's three symphonies to date proves a strikingly powerful and enviably cogent utterance in the mould of Nielsen, Tippett, Simpson and John McCabe – yes, honestly, the music is that good! ... Viola Concerto (2010) represents another mightily impressive achievement, durably rewarding in its combination of soaring lyricism, expressive clout and sly wit, and always evincing a consummate craftsmanship and richly stocked imagination. ... Performances, production-values and presentation are all one could desire. Investigate without delay!


Andrew Achenbach Classical Ear 10th September 2013

Back in May we introduced you to one of Britain's most up-and-coming composers, Matthew Taylor (b. 1964), who's music is currently being championed by Toccata Classics. ...Accordingly Taylor's music is in the English late romantic mold, but like that of [Robert] Simpson there are Scandinavian touches recalling Nielsen (1865-1931), Sibelius (1865-1957) and Holmboe (1909-1996).

Bob McQuiston Classical Lost and Found September 2013


1 comment – add a comment

I had heard snippets of Taylor's symphony on the site, but I was completely bowled over by the work in its entirety. It still amazes me how much there is still to be had from tonality in music. And Taylor manages to find a unique voice. I hope you will record his other two symphonies in the near future! Keep up the good work! My sincere congratulations on what must be the most interesting record label of the last few decades!

Johan Doumont email 23 January 2014