‘Concerto for Violin – Concentric Paths’ is a resounding success

‘Concerto for Violin – Concentric Paths’ is a resounding success
Since its premiere in 2005, Thomas Adès’s ‘Concerto for Violin’ has gone on to receive widespread praise and popularity. With its constant growth of melodic ideas and compelling sense of pace and energy, it is no wonder that it has resonated with audiences across the world. The concerto subtitled, Concentric Paths, has had over a thousand performances to date, (including its setting to ballet) proving that it has established a firm place in the repertoire.

Press Comments:
‘...While, on one level, it embraces unselfconsciously the Romantic virtuoso tradition – the violin figurations sometimes recall specific works – on another, it’s indisputably a piece of today, each of its three movements underpinned by a convulsive, compelling sense and by a feeling of different musics grinding against each other. Though that doesn’t prevent the finale from being based on a disarmingly simple tune.’
Evening Standard (Stephen Pettit), 7 September 2005

‘...The 20-minute concerto follows the traditional pattern of fast first movement, slow, searching central one and frisky, extrovert finale. As so often with Adès, though, what at first seems conventional is far from it. He regards the work as a triptych, with the central panel far larger than those flanking it, and the work’s subtitle – Concentric Paths – gives a clue to the way it is constructed from large and small-scale cyclical patterns that move in and out of phase. In the slow movement, the processes generate music of high-intensity expressiveness, which push the violin to greater and greater emotional extremes, exploring harmonic depths that are not totally forgotten in the less troubled shapes of the finale. The Solo writing is scrupulously notated and hugely demanding technically; Marwood seemed to have mastered its every detail...’
Guardian (Andrew Clements), 8 September 2005
 
‘“Concentric Paths,’’ written in 2005, begins with jittery, stratospheric writing for the violin and winds. The second movement is one of Adès’s great achievements to date — a dark, gripping fantasia in the form of a chaconne, a set of variations on a recurring bass line. A bright, energetic finale sweeps the preceding darkness away.’
Boston Globe (David Weininger), 6 June 2010
 
‘Adès’s 2005 Concentric Paths is a 20-minute tour de force that pays homage to the Baroque past and looks forward to a cross-cultural, post-modern future. The score's opening movement, Rings, commences with a repetitive minimalist figure before morphing into a pungent rhythmic theme punctuated by strident brass exclamations that would not have been out of place in a Prokofiev concerto.  In Paths, the score's centerpiece, echoes of the Second Viennese School and Shostakovich's Violin Concerto and Fifth Symphony illuminate a formal chaconne. As the violin ascends ever higher into the upper register, piquant winds form harmonic underpinning. An unabashedly romantic melody launches the finale, Rounds, offset by ominous growls in the brass leading to a rock-infused bravura coda.’
The Miami Herald (Lawrence Budmen), 24 January 2010

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