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Ades: Asyla, Tevot & Polaris / London Symphony Orchestra


Release Date: 03/03/2017 
Label:  Lso Live   Catalog #: 798  
Composer:  Thomas Adès
Performer:  Samuel Dale Johnson
Conductor:  Thomas Adès
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
Number of Discs: 2 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

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 and 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 th emusical development of one of the world's foremost composers. Composed in 1997 and winner of the 1999 Grawemeyer award, Asyla is the earliest of Read more 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 teh dual meaning of both madhouse and sanctuary. Typical of his orchestral works, it utilizes a large orchestra to achieve an array of colors, textures and timbres. It also showcases Adès's wide-ranging influences, with a "four-on-the-floor" techno drumbeat as the impetus behind the famous Ecstasia 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 Trevot 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 th epiece. 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. Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Asyla by Thomas Adès
Conductor:  Thomas Adès
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: by 1997; England 
2.
Tevot by Thomas Adès
Conductor:  Thomas Adès
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 2007 
3.
Polaris, voyage for orchestra by Thomas Adès
Conductor:  Thomas Adès
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
Period: Contemporary 
Written: 2010-2011 
4.
Brahms, Op. 21 by Thomas Adès
Performer:  Samuel Dale Johnson (Baritone)
Conductor:  Thomas Adès
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: England 

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