'In Seven Days' a Multimedia Piano Concerto

'In Seven Days' a Multimedia Piano Concerto

A substantial work by Thomas Adès for piano, orchestra and six video screens, In Seven Days (Concerto for Piano with Moving Image), was premiered in the Royal Festival Hall, London on 28 April.  Soloist will be Nicholas Hodges, with Adès conducting the London Sinfonietta.  The video element has been created by Israeli artist Tal Rosner.  In seven movements, the work’s title refers to the Biblical seven days of Creation.

The work was co-commissioned by the South Bank Centre and the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra. Further performances took place in Los Angeles (27 May) and Amsterdam (5 September).

This piece is a video-ballet in seven movements, played continuously. The piece follows the story of creation:

1. Chaos – Light – Dark
2. Separation of the waters into sea and sky
3. Land – Grass – Trees
4. Stars, Sun, Moon
FUGUE: 5 Creatures of sea and sky –
6. Creatures of the land
7. Contemplation

The story is set as a set of variations, reflecting the two-part structure of the story: Days 1, 2 and 3 are reflected by Days 4, 5 and 6.  In Day 7 the theme is presented in its simplest form.

The visuals also tell the story in an abstract way, using footage and photographs from the two places equally responsible for the work’s commission: the Royal Festival Hall, and the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, and their immediate surroundings.

Los Angeles portrait
The US premiere of In Seven Days was the highlight of an Adès mini-residency presented by the Los Angeles PO in May.

On 21 May 2008 Adès joined the Los Angeles CO as conductor and harpsichordist in a concert that includes the West Coast premiere of his Three Studies from Couperin and perfomances of Sonata da Caccia, and the Couperin arrangement Les baricades mystèrieuses.

Adès performed with the LA Philharmonic New Music Group on 27 May, in the premiere of In Seven Days, as well as Living Toys, Concerto Conciso and Arcadiana.