Chamber Music by Matthews

Attendees of the inauguration of Clayton Spencer were treated to the premier of “The House Was Quiet and the World Was Calm,” by Alice Swanson Esty Professor of Music, William Matthews.  While this setting of Wallace Stevens’ poem was for a full orchestra and chorus, Matthews’ most recent recording, “A Book of Hours,” garners large rewards from small ensembles.

Featuring the Capital Trio (including Duncan Cumming ’93 on the piano), the recording includes compositions realized over the course of more than 20 years.  Those interested in the way that Matthews combined disparate voices in “The House Was Quiet,” may find similarity in “For Jonathan Kramer: for piano trio and electroacoustic sounds.”  Yet even in a more traditionally orchestrated piece such as “A Book of Hours,” Matthews’ lush and vibrant instrumental writing  will entice the listener to return many times.

“The Book of Hours: Music of William Matthews” is available in the Bates library on CD:

Audio/Display CDs COM XM 120 .M365 A16 2011

and online:

Streaming file from The Database of Recorded American Music (DRAM)

Bill Matthews’ “The House Was Quiet and the World Was Calm” will be reprised by the Bates College Orchestra on its November 10th concert.  Admission is free, but tickets are required.  For reservations or more information contact: or 207-786-6135