Thomas Adès - Asyla, Tevot, Polaris, Brahms album review: Orchestral manoeuvres as a lark

Wed, Mar 1, 2017, 16:27


Adès Asyla Tevot Polaris

Thomas Adès; London Symphony Orchestra; Samuel Dale Johnson

LSO live

Children's Music

Just in time for Thomas Adès’s appearances at the New Music Dublin Festival (Friday and Saturday) comes this survey of his works for orchestra: Asyla (1997), Tevot (2005-06) and Polaris (2010). There is also Brahms, a 2001 setting for baritone (Samuel Dale Johnson) of a macabre poem by Alfred Brendel.

The perspectives are so multilayered and the orchestral fantasy so free in a Tim Burton-esque way, that I am reminded of the famous beer ad claiming that “Heineken refreshes the parts other beers cannot reach”. The combination of effervescence and deep-water surge is often irresistible.

Adès is also a strikingly fine conductor, and these authoritative recordings come as a two-disc set. The first is multichannel Pure Audio Blu-ray, the second an SACD hybrid suitable for all CD players.