Matryoshka is the Russian for what is commonly known as a "Russian Doll" or "Babushka," a popular children's toy dating from 1890. This piece is based on the Matryoshka doll, whose primary characteristic is that of nesting, "one thing coming out of another," getting smaller and smaller each time.
The piece is in two large sections, the first split into five, each of these clearly defined in character and musical content. The fifth section is based on the Russian folk song The Little Birch Tree (also heard in Tchaikovsky's Fourth Symphony). This sits at the core of the piece, towards which all other melodies lead, and from which we begin the second half, reintroducing all previous themes, until we hear the culmination of all five towards the end.
About the composer: Thomas Jarvis
Currently in the third year of his music degree at Manchester University, Thomas Jarvis is studying trumpet with Tracey Redfern of Manchester Camerata and Psappha, and conducting with Mark Heron at the Royal Northern College of Music. As a trumpeter, Thomas has worked for semi-professional ensembles such as the South Yorkshire Symphony Orchestra and Keith Peters Big Band. As a conductor he has gained experience through the City of Sheffield Youth Orchestra under Chris Gayford, and the University of Manchester Symphony Orchestra under Mark Heron. He has recently been appointed Ensemble Director and Conductor of the High Peak Wind Band (part of the Peak District Music Centres), Assistant Musical Director of the Manchester University Gilbert and Sullivan Society, and he also directs the Manchester University Barbershop Chorus.