Thomas Adès - The Tempest & other keyboard music

Posted by: Ridicolosamente

Thomas Adès - The Tempest & other keyboard music - 11/13/12 10:53 PM

I ended up at Adès' The Tempest Met theater broadcast a bit randomly this weekend, but what a fantastic experience the opera turned out to be. I personally find the libretto (and singing in English!) a bit quirky and uncomfortable, and I thought the resolution in Act III a bit contrived and rushed, but the music was so captivating.

I was largely unfamiliar with the opera, this production, and have read little since, but I imagine each person probably has his own strong opinion on the music, e.g. such an audacious character such as Ariel. I ate it all up. Gorgeous and captivating. Bravo and brava to Keenlyside as Prospero, and Luna as Ariel. I spoke softly the rest of the weekend in Luna's honor; I'm not a singer, and know little about the mechanics, but ouch!

Aria: Five Fathoms Deep

Five fathoms deep
Your father lies
These are pearls
That were his eyes
Nothing of him
That was mortal
Is the same.
His bones are coral
He has suffered
A sea change
Into something
Rich and strange
Sea-nymphs hourly
Ring his knell.
I can hear them
Ding dong bell

I'm not familiar with Adès' keyboard music, but see on Wiki that he has some output:
Keyboard: piano 1992: Darknesse Visible
Keyboard: piano 1991–1992: Still Sorrowing
Keyboard: piano 1995–1996: Traced Overhead
Keyboard: piano 1995–1996: Etude (withdrawn?)
Concertante 1997: Concerto Conciso for piano and 10 players
Keyboard: piano 2009: Concert Paraphrase on Powder Her Face
Keyboard: piano 2009: 3 Mazurkas
Keyboard: piano 2012: Thrift for piano

I'd like to check some of it out. Anyone have any suggestions on worthwhile compositions to start with?

Thanks
-Daniel
Posted by: bennevis

Re: Thomas Adès - The Tempest & other keyboard music - 11/14/12 05:30 AM

I've only heard Darknesse Visible and Trace'd Overhead, which are both intriguing, but have never seen the scores. Quite a few pianists have taken them up.

Adès is a very fine pianist himself (he first came to prominence as a pianist, playing a Bartok Concerto in the BBC Young Musician competition as well as his own music), and his recording of Schubert's 'Trout' Quintet is one of the best around. His piano writing, however, sounds quite individual to my ears.
Posted by: debrucey

Re: Thomas Adès - The Tempest & other keyboard music - 11/14/12 07:49 AM

Most of his piano music is extremely difficult. I love his concert paraphrase on Powder her Face