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Mark Simpson|Thomas Adès: Alchymia

Thomas Adès: Alchymia

Mark Simpson and Quatuor Diotima

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Text in englischer Sprache verfügbar

Thomas Adès is best known for works in larger forms, orchestral pieces, and operas. He has written chamber music before, but Alchymia is his first chamber work in some years. It is a remarkable and compelling piece, a quintet for basset clarinet and string quartet, that seeks to evoke the shadowy world of alchemy. The work distills Adès' compositional preoccupations into four short movements, totaling just over 23 and a half minutes. Despite the brevity, this album landed on classical best-seller charts in the autumn of 2023, and the reason is that the musical utterance is complete within itself and beautifully performed by musicians quite comfortable with Adès' intense language, clarinetist Mark Simpson and Quatuor Diotima. Adès, to a degree perhaps unmatched by any other contemporary composer, forges a contemporary language that seems rooted in the English tradition, and here, the listener is entranced by the combination right from the opening descending gesture of the first movement, "A Sea-Change" (the title refers to Shakespeare's The Tempest). The other three movements are all based on earlier music; the most "Renaissance" of them might seem to be the "Divisions on a Lute Song" finale, but this actually takes a tune from Berg's Lulu as a point of departure. Never has the spirit of English Renaissance music seemed so revivified as in this compact and perfect statement by Adès.

© James Manheim /TiVo

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Thomas Adès: Alchymia

Mark Simpson

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1
Alchymia: I. A Sea-Change (…Those Are Pearls…)
00:05:08

Thomas Ades, Composer - Quatuor Diotima, Ensemble, MainArtist - Mark Simpson, MainArtist

2023 Orchid Music Ltd 2023 Orchid Music Ltd

2
Alchymia: II. The Woods So Wild
00:03:10

Thomas Ades, Composer - Quatuor Diotima, Ensemble, MainArtist - Mark Simpson, MainArtist

2023 Orchid Music Ltd 2023 Orchid Music Ltd

3
Alchymia: III. Lachrymae
00:06:31

Thomas Ades, Composer - Quatuor Diotima, Ensemble, MainArtist - Mark Simpson, MainArtist

2023 Orchid Music Ltd 2023 Orchid Music Ltd

4
Alchymia: IV. Divisions on a Lute-Song
00:08:40

Thomas Ades, Composer - Quatuor Diotima, Ensemble, MainArtist - Mark Simpson, MainArtist

2023 Orchid Music Ltd 2023 Orchid Music Ltd

Albumbeschreibung

Thomas Adès is best known for works in larger forms, orchestral pieces, and operas. He has written chamber music before, but Alchymia is his first chamber work in some years. It is a remarkable and compelling piece, a quintet for basset clarinet and string quartet, that seeks to evoke the shadowy world of alchemy. The work distills Adès' compositional preoccupations into four short movements, totaling just over 23 and a half minutes. Despite the brevity, this album landed on classical best-seller charts in the autumn of 2023, and the reason is that the musical utterance is complete within itself and beautifully performed by musicians quite comfortable with Adès' intense language, clarinetist Mark Simpson and Quatuor Diotima. Adès, to a degree perhaps unmatched by any other contemporary composer, forges a contemporary language that seems rooted in the English tradition, and here, the listener is entranced by the combination right from the opening descending gesture of the first movement, "A Sea-Change" (the title refers to Shakespeare's The Tempest). The other three movements are all based on earlier music; the most "Renaissance" of them might seem to be the "Divisions on a Lute Song" finale, but this actually takes a tune from Berg's Lulu as a point of departure. Never has the spirit of English Renaissance music seemed so revivified as in this compact and perfect statement by Adès.

© James Manheim /TiVo

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