Thomas Ad├Ęs

These Premises Are Alarmed - 1996

Orchestra

Written for the Halle Orchestra

Instrumentation

3 picc(I=fl).3.3(II=bcl.III=Ebcl).3(III=cbsn)4.3(III=ptpt).2 trbn(I=bass tpt).btrbn.tuba - perc(4): crot/mar/9 large roasting tins/hi-hat/4 field drum/ant.cym/4 gong/glsp/2 BD/tam-t/geophone/2 wdbl/timp/3 SD/rototom - pno(=cel) - harp - strings (16.16.14.10.8)

Programme Notes

These Premises Are Alarmed

For a composer still in his mid?twenties, Thomas Adès has produced a formidably large body of work marked by an enormous variety of medium and scale. His music is full of invention and shows a remarkable ear for texture and effect that must derive to some extent from his excellence as a performer. These Premises Are Alarmed is a short piece for full orchestra that was commissioned by the Hallé Concerts Society and premiered in Manchester in September 1996. As the composer wrote on that occasion:

Having enjoyed two happy years as Composer in Association with the Hallé Orchestra, I was delighted when Kent Nagano proposed a new piece to be played at the opening concerts of the Bridgewater Hall.

The thrill of writing for a new, as yet unknown, acoustic was at the forefront of my mind in composing These Premises are Alarmed, and the central section of the piece is disguised to give as strong a sense as possible of the size and shape of the space it is played in. Obviously, the virtuosity and richness of sound of the Hall_ were an equally important spur to creation.

As for the title, I felt that any important new building must need adequate security; and what better way could there be of >proofing= a new concert hall than with brand new music?

To which one might add that in barely five minutes Adès has managed to compress just about every sound and playing technique of which orchestral instruments are capable; that the musical space ranges from extremely high registers (three piccolos) to extremely low, with a corresponding dynamic range from very loud to very soft; fiendishly tricky rhythms within a flexible and constantly changing overall tempo; and that this kaleidoscope of shifting elements is combined and structured with a Stravinskyan clarity and precision.

Recordings

Past Performances

  • September 12 1996
    Bridgewater Hall, Manchester, United Kingdom
    Hallé Orchestra, Kent Nagano
  • September 19 1996
    BBC Radio 3, , United Kingdom
    Hallé Orchestra, Kent Nagano
  • September 12 1998
    BBC Proms, Royal Albert Hall, London, United Kingdom
    Andrew Davis, BBC Symphony Orchestra
  • November 20 1998
    Warwick, EMI Recording Sessions, United Kingdom
    CBSO
  • March 5 1999
    Helsinki Festival, Finlandia Hall, Finland
    Finnish Radio SO, Hannu Lintu
  • April 29 1999
    Royal Festival Hall, London, United Kingdom
    BBC Symphony Orchestra, Martyn Brabbins
  • June 4 2000
    Ojai Festival, , USA
    Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, Simon Rattle
  • September 25 2000
    RNE Radio Clásica, , Spain
  • September 25 2000
    RNE Radio Clásica, , Spain
  • October 21 2000
    Royal Festival Hall, London, United Kingdom
    Kent Nagano, London Philharmonic Orchestra
  • January 19-20 2001
    Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
    Winnipeg SO
  • March 29-30 2002
    San Antonio, , USA
    Graeme Jenkins, San Antonio SO
  • January 22 2004
    St David's Hall, Cardiff, United Kingdom
    BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Jac van Steen
  • January 28 2004
    BBC Radio 3, , United Kingdom
    BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Jac van Steen
  • January 28 2004
    BBC Radio 3, , United Kingdom
    BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Jac van Steen
  • April 10 2004
    Osterfestspiele, Salzburg, Austria
    Berlin PO, Sir Simon Rattle
  • December 31 2004
    Staatsoper, Hamburg, Germany
    Ingo Metzmacher, Philharmonisches Staatsorchestrer
  • December 31 2004
    Staatsoper, Hamburg, Germany
    Ingo Metzmacher, Philharmonisches Staatsorchestrer
  • March 18 2005
    Carl Nielsen Hall, Odense Concerthouse, Denmark
    Jesper Nordin, Odense Symphony Orchestra
  • February 16-18 2007
    Presences Festival, Paris, France
    Ensemble Calliopée, Orchestre Philharmonique de Liège, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Pascal Rophé, Thomas Bauer
  • January 30 2008
    Bridgewater Hall, Manchester, United Kingdom
    Hallé Orchestra, Mark Elder
  • February 4 2008
    BBC Radio 3, , United Kingdom
    Hallé Orchestra, Mark Elder
  • February 4 2008
    BBC Radio 3, , United Kingdom
    Hallé Orchestra, Mark Elder
  • November 22 2008
    Lincoln Theatre, Miami Beach, , USA
    New World Symphony
  • September 22 2009
    Royal Concert Hall, Glasgow, United Kingdom
    RSNO, David Danzmayr
  • September 23 2009
    Concert Hall, Perth, United Kingdom
    RSNO, David Danzmayr
  • September 24 2009
    Usher Hall, Edinburgh, United Kingdom
    RSNO, David Danzmayr
  • December 5 2009
    Ford Hall - Ithaca College, Ithaca, USA
    Ithica College, Jeffrey Meyer
  • April 8-10 2010
    Walt Disney Concert Hall, Los Angeles, USA
    Anthony Marwood, Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra
  • June 6 2010
    Barbican Centre, London, United Kingdom
    London Symphony Orchestra
  • September 25 2010
    Canada College Main Theatre, Redwood City, USA
    Eric Kujawsky, Redwood Symphony
  • August 7 2013
    Astor Theatre, Perth, Australia
    Paul Daniel, West Australian Symphony Orchestra
  • August 7 2013
    Astor Theatre, Perth, Australia
    Paul Daniel, West Australian Symphony Orchestra
  • September 30 2013
    Walt Disney Concert Hall, Los Angeles, USA
    Gustavo Dudamel, Los Angeles Philharmonic
  • September 30 2013
    Walt Disney Concert Hall, Los Angeles, USA
    Gustavo Dudamel, Los Angeles Philharmonic
  • January 31 2014
    BBC Radio 3, , United Kingdom
    BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, Günther Herbig
  • January 31 2014
    BBC Radio 3, , United Kingdom
    BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, Günther Herbig

© Thomas Adès 2014