Thomas Adès

e87782ce-cfc1-46f7-a388-ca908995c190Thomas Adès, Concerto Conciso
Canadian premiere: Sept. 29, 2004
Aventa Ensemble, Louis Lortie piano

Programme Notes: Thomas Adès Concerto Conciso (1997) Commissioned by Birmingham Contemporary Music Group (BCMG), London Sinfonietta and Ensemble Modern with financial assistance from the Arts Council of England and Sound Investors through the BCMG Sound Investment Scheme. The work is scored for solo piano and an ensemble of ten players, comprising clarinet, baritone saxophone, trumpet, trombone, tuba, percussion, 3 violins and double bass. It is in two movements. The first was originally entitled A Study for a Coda, and casts the pianist in the deliberately restricted role of musical director, with a semi-soloistic continuo part. The soloist is released, and claims centre stage, at the beginning of the second movement. This has two parts: firstly, a slow ciacconetta, which runs through six divisions upon a seven-bar chord sequence announced by the piano; secondly, a fast brawl in a tonality discovered by an unexpected resolution of the last cycle of the ciacconetta. The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians describes the mediaeval English dance which this section might evoke (from the French branle) as a form of round-dance: the linked dancers. . . face inwards to the centre of an arc, or a full circle, moving sideways to the left and the right. Thomas Adès