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Matthew Coleridge
20th - century
Great Britain, England
M. Coleridge
Matthew Coleridge (20th century), an English composer. I'm a self-taught choral composer and conductor living in West Dorset. I've sung in choirs since I was six years old, and have been writing music for a similar amount of time! My first major choral work - Requiem - will be recorded in February 2016
Dorset-based composer Matthew Coleridge is an exciting new voice on the British choral music scene. His acclaimed Requiem - his first major composition - was hailed by Sir Neville Marriner as 'a valuable addition to the 21st century choral repertoire'. It was recorded in 2016 by RSVP Voices, and has been performed numerous times in the UK and Europe. His a cappella works have been recorded by professional ensembles, including The Queen's Six for BBC Music Magazine. "My musical journey began when I joined my local church choir at the age of six. I was inspired by the new sound world into which I was immersed: Tallis and Gibbons, Sumsion and Stanford, Psalms and plainsong. I was soon encouraged to compose. My first offering (aged 8) was a fairly awful Christmas carol. I'd started two or three Magnificats by my early teens - though I'm yet to finish one. Composing always felt a natural and instinctive process; my grandfather and great-grandfather were both prolific amateur composers, so I guess it's in the blood, and I'm proud to continue the family name. In my twenties, most of my creative output was well away from choral music. I wrote and recorded a lot of electronic and ambient music, penned a few songs, worked as a composers assistant, and exposed myself to as wide a spectrum of music as I possibly could. It wasn't until I reached my thirties that I started to regain an interest in choral composing. My first 'mature' composition was a setting of the Corpus Christi Carol, which was recorded beautifully by The Queen's Six for BBC Music Magazine's Christmas CD in 2015. Blending elements of Medieval music and plainsong with gentle, shimmering dissonances, it set the tone for much of my work to date. My first large-scale composition, Requiem, grew out of fragments of music that I'd written over many years - ideas that I'd never found a chance to develop beyond a few bars. Following an acclaimed first performance in Dorset, I crowdfunded a recording with the wonderful RSVP Voices, cellist Guy Johnston and organist Stephen Farr."
Period:21st century
Composed in:2016
Musical form:mass
Text/libretto:Latin mass
Label(s): Willowhayne Records
Requiem Scored for SATB choir with solo cello, and organ or string accompaniment; Soprano and baritone soloists; Optional percussion - timpani and tenor drum (1 player) Optional string parts are for 1st & 2nd violin, viola, cello (in addition to solo part) and double bass.
This Requiem contains:
01. Introit - 06:17
02. Kyrie - 03:00
03. Offertory - 06:25
04. Pie Jesu - 02:45
05. Rex Tremendae - 02:18
06. Agnus Dei - 03:59
07. Lacrimosa - 04:46
Contributor:Arye Kendi
Matthew Coleridge's beautiful and moving Requiem was written in 2016. Choosing to omit certain sections such as the Dies Irae and In Paradisum, the Requiem shows an affinity towards the music of Ockeghem, de La Rue and Richafort. The work is a tribute to a departed soul, the solo cello part can perhaps be seen as an embodiment of that soul. ""A valuable addition to the 21st century choral repertoire"" - Sir Neville Marriner. The composer writes: Requiem is my first major composition and most frequently performed work. Far from being inspired by, or in memory of, a lost loved one, I wrote the majority of it in the months following the birth of my son. I hope this brings an optimistic, affirming and uplifting mood to the music. I was determined to avoid any clichés of angelic harps or fires of hell, and chose to take a more human and earthly approach - something more akin to the Requiems of the middle ages and Renaissance. Much of the writing is in the manner of Gregorian chant, with numerous melodic threads woven together into a rich tapestry of sound. The solo cello became a vital part of the music from some of the earliest drafts, providing a counterpoint of light against dark. Whenever the choir are singing about loss or sorrow, the cello sings a song of hope and comfort.