Album: Thomas Ades, Anthology (EMI Classics)


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The Independent Culture

This two-disc summary of Adès's career avoids some of the more obvious works – nothing from The Tempest, for instance – but manages to include both his youngest work and some recent, hitherto unrecorded pieces.

The latter feature the composer's solo piano four-part paraphrase of his opera Powder Her Face, the elegant if sometimes jarringly modernist manner of which sits well alongside his "Three Mazurkas", witty jeux d'esprit played with the Chopin-esque forms. The earliest piece is his "Chamber Symphony", composed while still a teenager, a showcase for the basset clarinet in which the louche and occasionally hysterical play of reeds and brass is powerfully suggestive of an imagination bursting to be heard.

DOWNLOAD THIS: Chamber Symphony; Three Mazurkas; America: A Prophecy