Thomas Ad├Ęs

Arcadiana - 1994

String Quartet

Commissioned by the Endellion String Quartet with funds from the Holst Foundation

Programme Notes

I Venezia notturno

II Das klinget so herrlich, das klinget so schon

III Auf dem Wasser zu singen

IV Et? (tango mortale)

V L?Embarquement

VI O Albion

VII Lethe

Six of the seven titles which comprise Arcadiana evoke various vanished or vanishing ?idylls?. The odd-numbered movements are all aquatic, and would splice if played consecutively. I might be the ballad of some lugubrious gondolier; III takes a title and a figuration from a Schubert Lied; in V a ship is seen swirling away to L?Isle Joyeuse; VII is the River of Oblivion.

The second and sixth movements inhabit pastoral Arcadias, respectively: Mozart?s ?Kingdom of Night?, and more local fields. The joker in this pack is the fourth movement, the literal dead centre: Poussin?s tomb bearing the inscription Even in Arcady am I.

Arcadiana was commissioned by the Endellion Quartet with funds from the Holst Foundation.


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© Thomas Adès 2014