Chamber Symphony - 1990

Chamber Ensemble of 15 Players

Clip

Instrumentation

fl(=picc+afl).ob.basset cl.bcl ? hn.tpt(=wine bottle).trbn ? perc(2): tgl/c.bell/wdbl/SD/hi-hat/guiro/3 tam-t/2 small finger drum/wood chimes/flexatone/belltree/shell chimes/mar/crot ? pno(=accordion) ? 2 vln.vla.vlc.db

Programme Notes

This piece began as a concerto for basset-clarinet, an instrument which attracted me greatly on account of its extraordinary range. During the course of composing, however, the accompanying chamber ensemble became infected with the personality of the solo instrument, until the whole group represented in my mind a super-basset-clarinet with strings and a constant rhythm section. All the melodic rays given out during the introduction eventually converge on the basset-clarinet.

The Chamber Symphony compresses the symphonic four-movement structure into one continuous form. The introduction consists of a tune and a winding-up of the mechanism; this leads to a sonata-form first movement with clearly defined first and second subject groups in the manner of Schubert. At the recapitulation, the two are superimposed. There then follows a winding-down of the mechanism towards the slow movement. The queasy but strict tango-rhythm which underlay the first movement slows to a cavernous tread, over which a solo trombone becomes the ?basset-clarinet? and broods over the tune from the introduction. The line smears onto other imitation basset-clarinets, eventually devolving onto the real one, which begins a long line. This accumulates an entourage, and leads to a climax incorporating material form the first subject group of the first movement. An impasse is reached, to be sidestepped by the entrance of a new instrument ? the accordion ? which performs a modulation that grows into the start of the scherzo. As a rolling stone gathers moss, this initially fragile texture gradually accumulates flotsam from the first movement, whirling up to a frantically ?squeezed? desperately high rendition of the work?s initial tune. The scherzo explodes with the chord on which the slow movement struck, leaving once again the accordion alone; this time the cadence takes longer, and in place of a rondo-finale, the work ends with a serene overview of the preceding music, as if from a great height. Ends are tied up, and the ensemble folds back into its two generative elements: the basset-clarinet, and the almost cardiac unpitched percussion.

Thomas Ad

Recordings

Past Performances

  • February 24 1991
    West Road Concert Hall, Cambridge, United Kingdom
    ad hoc
  • March 9 1993
    West Road Concert Hall, Cambridge, United Kingdom
    Bamert, BBC Philharmonic Orchestra
  • June 11 1993
    BBC Radio 3, , United Kingdom
    BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, Matthias Bamert
  • July 23 1993
    Meltdown, Purcell Room, London, United Kingdom
    Ensemble Modern, Stenz
  • April 20 1996
    St George's Brandon Hill, Bristol, United Kingdom
    Brunel Ensemble, Christopher Austin
  • March 11 1997
    Birmingham Conservatoire, Birmingham, United Kingdom
    Thallein Ensemble
  • May 28 1997
    Conway Hall, London, United Kingdom
    Ensemble Corrente
  • October 17 1998
    CBSO Centre, Birmingham, United Kingdom
  • October 20 1998
    CBSO Centre, Birmingham, Late night performance, United Kingdom
  • October 26 1998
    CBSo Centre, EMI Recording Sessions, United Kingdom
    Birmingham Contemporary Music Group
  • March 8 1999
    Helsinki Festival, Temppeliaukio Church, Finland
    Martyn Brabbins, Tapiola Sinfonietta
  • January 14 2000
    Konzerthaus, Vienna, Austria
    Ensemble Modern
  • January 16 2000
    deSingel, Antwerp, Belgium
    Ensemble Modern
  • January 17 2000
    Alte Oper, Frankfurt, Germany
    Ensemble Modern
  • January 20 2000
    Auditorio Nacional de Música, Madrid, Spain
    Ensemble Modern
  • March 22 2000
    Lighthouse, Poole, United Kingdom
    Kokoro, Mark Forkgen
  • July 3 2000
    Opernhaus Zürich, Zürich, Switzerland
    Members of Zurich Opera Orchestra
  • October 2 2000
    RNE Radio Clásica, , Spain
  • November 2000
    Danish Radio, , Denmark
    Aarhus Sinfonietta, Geoffrey Douglas Madge, New Hellenic Quartet, Tamas Veto
  • November 12 2000
    Royal Festival Hall, London, United Kingdom
    Christoph von Dohnanyi, Martyn Brabbins, Philharmonia, Philharmonia Orchestra
  • February 11 2001
    Geat Hall, King's College Cambridge, United Kingdom
    King's College Musical Society
  • June 28 2001
    RNE Radio Clásica, , Spain
    Birmingham Contemporary Music Group
  • January 30 2002
    Lighthouse, Poole, United Kingdom
    Kokoro, Mark Forkgen
  • January 11 2004
    Jordan Hall, Boston, USA
    Boston Symphony Orchestra Chamber Players
  • January 15 2004
    Severance Hall, Cleveland, USA
    Franz Welser-Most, The Cleveland Orchestra
  • January 17 2004
    Severance Hall, Cleveland, USA
    Franz Welser-Most, The Cleveland Orchestra
  • May 9 2004
    Lighthouse Theatre, Poole, United Kingdom
    Kokoro, Mark Forkgen, The Contemporary Music Ensemble of Bournemouth S.O
  • October 25 2004
    Philharmonie, Cologne, Germany
    Cleveland Orchestra, Franz Welser-Most
  • October 29 2004
    Musikverein, Vienna, Austria
    Cleveland Orchestra, Franz Welser-Most
  • December 4 2004
    Culturgest, Lisbon, Portugal
    Cesario Costa, OrchestrUtopica
  • May 26 2005
    The Sage Gateshead, Gateshead, United Kingdom
    Northern Sinfonia
  • May 27 2005
    Sands Centre, Carlisle, United Kingdom
    Northern Sinfonia
  • June 11 2005
    Aldeburgh Festival, Snape Maltings Concert Hall, Suffolk, United Kingdom
    Northern Sinfonia
  • June 21 2005
    BBC Radio 3, , United Kingdom
    Northern Sinfonia
  • September 23 2005
    Severance Hall, Cleveland, USA
    Cleveland Orchestra, Franz Welser-Most
  • October 25 2005
    Kleiner Philharmonie, Cologne, Germany
    Cleveland Orchestra, Franz Welser-Most
  • October 29 2005
    Musikverein, Vienna, Austria
    Cleveland Orchestra, Franz Welser-Most
  • December 20-21 2005
    Stadtische Buhnen, Munster, Germany
    Dirf Kaftan, Sinfonieorchester Münster
  • January 30 2006
    Queen Elizabeth Hall, London, United Kingdom
    London Philharmonic Orchestra, Marin Alsop
  • February 4 2006
    Kitchener, Ontario, Canada
    Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony
  • February 3 2007
    CBSO Centre, Birmingham, United Kingdom
    Birmingham Contemporary Music Group
  • February 24 2007
    Presences Festival, Paris, France
    Birmingham Contemporary Music Group
  • March 25 2007
    'Traced Overhead' LSO St Luke's, London, United Kingdom
    Birmingham Contemporary Music Group
  • June 2 2007
    BBC Radio 3, , United Kingdom
    City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra
  • December 2 2007
    Lincoln Hall, Portland, USA
    Ken Selden, Portland State New Music Ensemble
  • March 29 2008
    Making Music: Thomas Adès - Carnegie Hall, New York, USA
    Birmingham Contemporary Music Group
  • April 21 2008
    Vatroslav Lisinski, Zagreb, Croatia
    Aleksandar Kalajdzic, Ensemble Cantus - Zagreb
  • June 13 2008
    Zankel Hall, Carnegie Hall, New York, USA
    Pablo Heras-Casado
  • June 19 2009
    The Sage Gateshead, Gateshead, United Kingdom
    Northern Sinfonia, Thomas Zehetmair
  • August 11 2009
    Stavanger Domkirke, Stavanger, Norway
    Stavanger Symphony Orch, Thomas Sondergaard.
  • October 16 2009
    Michigan State University, College of Music Auditorium, East Lansing, USA
    Michigan State University, Raphael Jimenez
  • October 22 2009
    BBC Radio 3, , United Kingdom
    Northern Sinfonia, Thomas Zehetmair
  • December 13 2009
    Alte Oper, Frankfurt, Germany
    Oper Frankfurt am Main
  • April 2-3 2010
    Ordway Center for the Performing Arts, St Paul, USA
    Saint Paul CO, Donata Cabrera
  • November 18 2010
    Royal College of Music, London, United Kingdom
    RCM New Perspectives, Timothy Lines
  • December 4 2011
    Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, College Park, Maryland, USA
    University of Maryland Philharmonia, James Ross
  • January 13 2012
    Paul Hall, Juilliard School, New York, USA
    Ensemble ACJW
  • January 30 2012
    Kilbourn Hall, Rochester, USA
    University of Rochester, Geoffrey Pope
  • July 1 2012
    Pompidou Centre, Paris, France
    Thomas Adès (Conductor), Natalia Zagorinskaya (Soprano), Raquel Camarinha (Soprano), Carl Emmanuel Fisbach (Saxophone), International Ensemble Modern Akademie, Pablo Rus Broseta (Conductor)
  • April 16 2013
    Zipper Concert Hall at the Colburn School, Los Angeles, USA
    Colburn School of Performing Arts, Edward Hong
  • March 3 2014
    Auditorio 400, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid, Spain
    Grupo Modus Novus, Santiago Serrate
  • April 11 2014
    Warner Concert Hall, Oberlin College, Oberlin, USA
    Oberlin Conservatory of Music, Timothy Weiss
  • July 26 2014
    Lobero Theatre, Music Academy of the West, Santa Barbara, USA
    Alan Gilbert, Music Academy of the West
  • September 7 2014
    School of the Arts Concert Hall, Singapore, Singapore
    London Sinfonietta, Sian Edwards
  • November 1-2 2014
    Shanghai Culture Square, Shanghai, China
  • September 10 2015
    Piccolo Regio Puccini, Turin, Italy
    Yoichi Sugiyama, mdi ensemble
  • September 12 2015
    Teatro Menotti, Milan, Italy
    Yoichi Sugiyama, mdi ensemble
  • October 6 2015
    Dronningesalen, Den Sorte Diamant, Copenhagen, Denmark
    Athelas Sinfonietta, Pierre-André Valade
  • October 11 2015
    Chapel, King's College, Cambridge, United Kingdom
    George Benjamin, Philharmonia Orchestra
  • October 15 2015
    Stormen konserthus, Bodø, Norway
    Arctic Symphony Orchestra, Oyvind Bjora
  • November 6-7 2015
    Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City, USA
    André de Ridder, New York Philharmonic
  • November 14 2015
    Large Guild, Riga, Latvia
    Normunds Sne, Sinfonietta Riga
  • March 13 2016
    LSO St Luke's, London, United Kingdom
    Francois-Xavier Roth, London Symphony Orchestra
  • December 8 2016
    Queen's Hall, Edinburgh, United Kingdom
    Robin Ticciati, Scottish Chamber Orchestra
  • December 9 2016
    City Halls, Glasgow, United Kingdom
    Robin Ticciati, Scottish Chamber Orchestra
  • September 28 2017
    Auer Performance Hall, Indiana University, Bloomington, USA
    David Dzubay, Indiana University School of Music
  • March 28 2019
    Stormen konserthus, Bodø, Norway
    Tim Weiss, Arktisk Filharmoni
  • March 31, April 1 2019
    Dumbarton Oaks, Washington, USA
    The Knights, Eric Jacobsen
  • April 3 2019
    Carnegie Hall, New York City, USA
    The Knights, Eric Jacobsen
  • April 16 2019
    Cohen Family Studio Theatre, Cincinnati, USA
    University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, Aik Khai Pung

© Thomas Adès 2014