Thomas Adès: Violin Concerto, Concentric Paths; Tevot; Couperin Dances
Berlin Philharmonic/Rattle; Anthony Marwood, violin, with Chamber Orchestra of Europe/ Adès; National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain/Paul Daniel
CD and downloads available March 23 from EMI Classics
“Five stars out of five. Tevot (2007), written for the Berlin Philharmonic, is Adès’s largest orchestral work. It shows a Sibelian mastery of development and transition – even when the harmonic material is, like Sibelius, relatively conservative and the melodic content reminiscent of 20th century neo-romantics. Like a latter-day symphonist, Adès takes the listener on a vivid sonic journey, juxtaposing tensile motifs on woodwinds, strings and percussion with constantly moving, seductively textured blocks of sound.” — Financial Times [Andrew Clark]
EMI Classics presents the world-premiere release of three of Thomas Adès’s new works recorded live, partly conducted by the composer himself, and, in the case of Tevot, by Sir Simon Rattle with the Berlin Philharmonic.
“Tevot” means “arks” in Hebrew but another meaning is “bars in a piece of music.” In an interview with The Guardian, Adès said: “I liked the idea that the bars of the music were carrying the notes as a sort of family through the piece. And they do, because without bars, you'd have musical chaos. But I was thinking about the ark, the vessel, in the piece as the earth. (…) It sounds a bit colossal, but it's the idea of the ship of the world." The work was commissioned by the Stiftung Berliner Philharmoniker and the Carnegie Hall Corporation; it was premiered by the Berlin Philharmonic and Sir Simon Rattle at the Philharmonie in Berlin in February 2007 and received its US premiere, also with the Berlin Philharmonic and Rattle, at Carnegie Hall in November 2007. Sir Simon Rattle considers Adès “perhaps the most extravagantly gifted (of young UK composers),” and he and the Berlin Philharmonic program Adès’s works frequently.
In September 2005 Adès’s Violin Concerto written for Anthony Marwood was premiered at the Berliner Festspiele and the BBC Proms, with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe conducted by the composer.
The album is rounded out with Adès’s Three Studies after Couperin (2006) and a three-movement suite (2007) from the opera Powder Her Face.
Since the release of Adès’s opera The Tempest on EMI Classics in June 2009, the recording has received attention on a global scale. In France, the disc was recently awarded the prestigious Diapason d’Or de l’année, and in the U.S. the album was a ‘Critic’s Choice’ pick in Opera News.