Instrumentation

basset cl – 2 vln.vla.vlc

Availability

Score and parts in preparation

Reviews

“A triumphant premiere from our greatest living composer… Each of its four movements took something simple and transmuted it into something rich and strange… All very Adès, and there were indeed things about this new piece that seemed familiar… But there were also things that suggested Adès has opened a door onto a new phase… The boldest movement was the last. Based on the “barrel-organ” melody of the final scene of Berg’s opera Lulu the piece took the melody by the hand and led it gently through different keys, dressing it in different musical clothes in a spirit of ironic playfulness.”
The Telegraph (Ivan Hewett), 1 October 2021

‘Outstanding. Armed with a basset clarinet Simpson eloquently led us through calmly descending, clear-textured phrases into the first of four spellbinding movements designed by Adès to further the alchemical processes regularly used by Elizabethan composers to turn simple musical material into gold. After the opening movement’s falling gestures (first serene, later fierce), the second movement, inspired by Byrd, brought on a difficult feast of wriggling quavers, tossed off with inhuman ease. Suspended motion entered with the third, leading to a powerful crescendo of emotion... Adès’s own alchemy was at its peak in the finale, which veered away from Elizabethan sources towards Alban Berg’s opera scorcher Lulu, with moods varying from clarinet screaming to quiet acceptance, at the end, of the power of conventional tonality. Only Adès could have written this strange, magical and arresting piece, and Simpson and the Diotimas served it brilliantly well.’
The Times (Geoff Brown), 1 October 2021

 

Alchymia

Muziekgebouw aan 't IJ (Amsterdam, Noord-Holland, Netherlands)

Quatuor Diotima, Mark Simpson

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Alchymia

recording of premiere

BBC Radio 3 (United Kingdom)

Quatuor Diotima, Mark Simpson

Alchymia

Kings Place (London, United Kingdom)

Quatuor Diotima, Mark Simpson