Mathias was born in Whitland, Carmarthenshire. A child prodigy, he started playing the piano at the age of three and began composing at the age of five. He was educated at Aberystwyth University, and then the Royal Academy of Music under Lennox Berkeley, where he was elected a fellow in 1965. In 1968, he was awarded the Bax Society Prize of the Harriet Cohen International Music Award. He was professor of music and head of department in the University of Wales, Bangor, from 1970 until 1988.
His compositions include large scale works, including an opera, The Servants (1980), three symphonies and three piano concertos. Much of his music was written for the Anglican choral tradition, most famously the anthem Let the people praise Thee, O God written for the July 1981 royal wedding of the Prince and Princess of Wales.
This piece, Processional, was written in 1964. Mathias uses a characteristic harmonic style of consecutive intervals, as typified by the opening fanfare of fifths on the fiery Swell Trumpet, and the ominous fourths on the enclosed reeds in the middle section. To conclude, the Ubertuba proclaims a series of major thirds in its own closing fanfare.
Happy Easter everyone and I hope you enjoy it.