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Adès: Polaris, Tevot, Asyla, Brahms

  • Catalogue Number LSO0798
    UPC 822231179825

    James Mallinson producer Classic Sound Ltd engineering, editing, mixing & mastering
    Recorded live in DSD128fs at the Barbican Hall, 9th &16th March 2016


    SACD Hybrid

    Layer 1 - 2.0 stereo + 5.1 surround mixes
    Layer 2 - Standard CD audio

    Pure Audio Blu-ray

    2.0 LPCM 24bit 192kHz
    5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio 24bit 192kHz
    Dolby Atmos mix and mShuttle downloadable content

    Total playing time 62 mins 55 secs
    2 disc jewel case with clear tray. TBCpp booklet
    Notes in En, Fr, Ge

  • Concert reviews

    **** ‘Authoritative performances and sumptuous textures’ The Guardian

    ***** ‘An exceptional concert which was totally convincing both in performance and the quality of the music being presented. My concert of the year so far.’ Bachtrack


Thomas Adès

London Symphony Orchestra

*** Please note that this item is currently available for pre-order, and will be released on Friday 3 March 2017. Pre-orders will be shipped out one week in advance of the release date. ***

‘Even as the UK is brimming with wonderful young composers, I think few would dispute that Tom Adès may be the most extravagantly gifted of them all...’ Sir Simon Rattle on Thomas Adès.

An acclaimed conductor and pianist as well as a composer, Thomas Adès has outgrown his status as the wunderkind of the British scene and become one of the most imposing figures in contemporary music. For his LSO Live debut, he conducts all of his seminal ‘Trilogy’ works - Asyla, Tevot & Polaris – pieces that not only occupy a special place in his output, but in modern classical music as a whole.

Recorded in 2016 during his first LSO ‘Composer Focus’, this is the first time all three works have been presented together on one album, offering a unique chance to hear the musical development of one of the world’s foremost composers. This major release is also presented in Dolby’s new Atmos surround sound format, recreating even more precisely the unique atmosphere a concert of Adès’s music creates.

Composed in 1997 and winner of the 1999 Grawemeyer award, Asyla is the earliest of the pieces, and one of the works that announced Adès as a major new voice. Sir Simon Rattle, a long-time champion of the composer, conducted the work’s premiere with the CBSO as well as programming it in his inaugural concert as Artistic Director of the Berlin Philharmonic.

The title is the plural form of the word asylum, and plays on the dual meaning of both madhouse and sanctuary. Typical of his orchestral works, it utilises a large orchestra (including six percussionists and a variety of treated pianos) to achieve an array of colours, textures and timbres. It also showcases Ades’s wide-ranging influences, with a ‘four-on-the-floor’ techno drumbeat as the impetus behind the famous Ecstasio movement.

Tevot is a one movement symphony that builds upon the ideas of Asyla and pushes the players to the limits of their technical ability, with long passages written in stratospheric registers. Again, there is a dual meaning at play in the title, as Tevot is the Hebrew word for bars as well as closely related to the word used in the Bible when referring to Noah’s ark. Adès himself explains: ‘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. The earth would be a spaceship, a ship that carries us - and several other species! - through the chaos of space in safety. It sounds a bit colossal, but it’s the idea of the ship of the world.

The final Trilogy work, Polaris, was composed in 2010 and is subtitled ‘A Voyage for Orchestra’. Taking the North Star as its inspiration, despite a relatively short running time it conjures up a definite sense of vastness, with musicians placed offstage to enhance the sense of space. The piece is built up from a simple, looping pattern of notes in the piano, that evolves to suggest a massive spiral with musical magnetic fields expanding, exploding and beautifully rearranging themselves.

The album also includes the Adès miniature Brahms, with words by Alfred Brendel. Sung here by baritone Samuel Dale Johnson, it is an ‘anti-homage’ to the composer inspired by the cold logic of his music, taking his compositional compulsions to extreme conclusions.

Composer   Adès
Conductor   Thomas Adès
Performers   London Symphony Orchestra

Track list
1. Asyla, Op. 17: I.
2. Asyla, Op. 17: II.
3. Asyla, Op. 17: III. Ecstatsio
4. Asyla, Op. 17: IV. Quasi leggerio
5. Tevot
6. Polaris (Voyage for orchestra)
7. Brahms, Op. 21

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