Matthew Barley/Cellist

Without music, life would be an error.

Friedrich Nietzsche

Walton Concerto

It’s been much too busy – so much so that I came down with pneumonia a while ago! But fully recovered and had a very enjoyable trip to Rumania to play the Walton concerto with the Philharmonic in the really wonderful Philharmonic Hall in Bucharest – visually stunning, and a perfect cello acoustic. Off tomorrow to play and record Walton again, this time with the BBC Scottish Orchestra, for Radio 3. Anyone out there love this piece as much as I do? It’s amazing! I’ve been reading lots of Walton biographies as well, and he was such a fascinating man – very enigmatic, very talented, and the cello concerto is one of his best. The performance on Monday will be 50 years and a day after the European premiere given by Piatigorsky.

I’ll put a post up when I know when it is going to be broadcast on Radio 3.


  • Benny Patton says:

    Dear Mathew, just back from your concert in Glasgow,12th February with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra.The perfection of the performance of both yourself and the orchestra was a memorable experience for me,words cannot express the utter musical satisfaction I had.Thank you , Charles Hazlewood and the orchestra for your combined interpretation of WALTON’S Cello Concerto.Yours sincerely, Benny Patton

  • Guido says:

    Will look forward to that! The Walton concerto is one of my favourite of the 230 or so cello concertos that I have collected, yet it is often denigrated as being worse than either the viola or violin concertos (Though Walton thought the cello concerto was his best of course). There are many such superb English cello concertos, most of which are more neglected than the Walton even (Oh what I would do to hear some of these rather than the Elgar once in a while): Finzi, Bliss, Bridge, Britten, Stevens, Moeran, Bax, Goldschmidt, Rawsthorne, Delius, Leighton, Tovey, Berkeley. All are worth hearing, and a good many are masterpieces. This is not to mention more modern works like Bryars’ farewell to philosophy, or Colin Matthew’s two major concertos, and rwo smaller scale works for cello and orchestra, Maxwell Davies, and of course Tavener’s collection of cello/string orchestra works…

    All this is a long way of saying, yes I too love the Walton concerto! Play it often and well!

  • Nicola James says:

    Went with my two teenage sons to see this wonderful workshop and moving performance, having heard Matthew on Radio 3 recently. Excellent work and a brilliant, seamless collaboration between Hazlewood and Barley. Intelligent, informed, fluid. The Orchestra were as ably understated as ever. Would that there were more of this in our schools! Thank you.


  • john says:

    my wife heard you doing an improv on the radio, and was gripped,
    we are both pro players
    who have been learning to improvise and enjoying the journey. I have enjoyed reading of your development and will try to get to the spitalfields concert in the summer. We were at RNCM 25 years ago now but there was never a note of improv there, its only in the last 10 years that we have
    been trying with the influence of a son who is a jazz drummer, many thanks for the inspiration of your trailblazing, john

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