by Thomas Adès

string quartet
String Quartet
Commissioned by the Endellion String Quartet with funds from the Holst Foundation
First Performance
16.11.94, Cambridge Elgar Festival, West Road Concert Hall, Cambridge: Endellion String Quartet

Score 0-571-51518-5 and parts (fp) 0-571-55493-8 on sale

Programme Notes
Thomas Adès Arcadiana (1994) I Venezia notturno II Das klinget so herrlich, das klinget so schon III Auf dem Wasser zu singen IV Et… (tango mortale) V L’Embarquement VI O Albion VII Lethe Six of the seven titles which comprise Arcadiana evoke various vanished or vanishing ‘idylls’. The odd-numbered movements are all aquatic, and would splice if played consecutively. I might be the ballad of some lugubrious gondolier; III takes a title and a figuration from a Schubert Lied; in V a ship is seen swirling away to L’Isle Joyeuse; VII is the River of Oblivion. The second and sixth movements inhabit pastoral Arcadias, respectively: Mozart’s ‘Kingdom of Night’, and more local fields. The joker in this pack is the fourth movement, the literal dead centre: Poussin’s tomb bearing the inscription Even in Arcady am I. Arcadiana was commissioned by the Endellion Quartet with funds from the Holst Foundation.

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'Arcadiana' reviews

“Adès’ originality lies in his exceptional ability to absorb and transform found objects in a language that sounds like no-one else’s.” Read more

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