Thomas Adès: Anthology

Thomas Adès: Anthology

by Thomas Adès
     
 
Fans of British composers Thomas Adès may well already have the majority of the pieces in this compilation because they have been released before. The two-CD set does include two premiere recordings, though, which should tempt anyone who loves his music to invest in this album. The composer plays the four-movement "Concert Paraphrase from Powder her Face," the opera

Overview

Fans of British composers Thomas Adès may well already have the majority of the pieces in this compilation because they have been released before. The two-CD set does include two premiere recordings, though, which should tempt anyone who loves his music to invest in this album. The composer plays the four-movement "Concert Paraphrase from Powder her Face," the opera that propelled him into the international spotlight, and "Three Mazurkas," both of which were given their first performance in 2010. They are not large pieces, but they are delightful in a way typical of much of Adès' music: quirkily off-kilter but graceful, with shimmering, transparent textures, and a sense of rightness and inevitability in their development that mark Adès as "The Real Thing." The other pieces on the first CD, "Arcadiana for string quartet" and the "Piano Quintet," plus the "Chamber Symphony" on the second disc, have much of the same character. "America: A Prophecy" (1999), commissioned by the New York Philharmonic, shows a far darker side of the composer's vision. A cantata for soprano, chorus, and orchestra, it depicts the Spanish destruction of the Mayan culture, and its title and some of its text make it eerily prescient of the devastation of 9/11/2001. Its texts are taken from Mayan prophecy and a song by Spanish composer Mateo Flecha that was written around the time of the Mayan conquest. It's a powerful and disturbing work that's bound to chill anyone with a memory of 9/11. Soprano Susan Bickley and the composer leading the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and Chorus deliver a gripping performance. The "Violin Concerto Concentric Paths" is a striking, immediately appealing work that explores extremes in register, timbre, and emotional content and is characterized by a tone of mystery and transcendence. The performances featured on the set, by some of the finest ensembles around, including the Arditti Quartet, the London Sinfonietta, and the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, are consistently first-rate, and EMI's sound is always clean and vivid.

Product Details

Release Date:
10/18/2011
Label:
Warner Classics
UPC:
5099908856029
catalogNumber:
88560

Related Subjects

Tracks

  1. Violin Concerto ("Concentric Paths")
  2. These Premises Are Alarmed, for orchestra, Op. 16
  3. America (a prophecy), for soprano & large orchestra (optional large chorus), Op. 19
  4. Living Toys, for chamber orchestra, Op. 9
  5. Chamber Symphony, Op. 2
  6. Piano Quintet
  7. Arcadiana, for string quartet, Op. 12

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