Album: Thomas Adès, London Sinfonietta, In Seven Days; Nancarrow Studies (Signum Classics)


Thomas Adès' take on the Biblical creation-myth in the seven-part "video-ballet" In Seven Days focuses on processes rather than things, shifting from the rising string motif, clotted piano and woodwind, and epic horns of "Chaos - Light - Dark", through successive hierarchies of order to the calm satisfaction of "Contemplation".

In "Separation", the piano part seems bifurcated, heading in two  directions, evocative of mighty forces tearing apart; the contrasting registers recur later in "Contemplation", but the sense of rending is replaced by one of balance and completeness; in between, the various expanding, hyperactive instrumental lines suggest the proliferation of life.

It's as absorbing as always with Adès, and accompanied here by four-handed piano transcriptions of a couple of Conlon Nancarrow's player-piano studies performed by Adès with Rolf Hind, rippling blends of exuberance and rumination.

Download this: In Seven Days; Study No. 6; Study No. 7