'Everything is oblique, yet magically allusive, full of rapt and raptuorous string effects.' The Guardian
Score 0571515185 and parts 0571554938 on sale
I Venezia notturno
II Das klinget so herrlich, das klinget so schon
III Auf dem Wasser zu singen
IV Et… (tango mortale)
VI O Albion
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.
'Arcadiana, Adès’s first string quartet, remains one of his most engaging pieces, the brilliance offset by tenderness, even the odd, quickly-brushed-away tear of sentimentality.'
Financial Times (Richard Fairman), 27 March 2017
'The idyllic and the terrifying are closely intertwined here. One moment dark, sliding string figures evoke a dance of death; the next is a serene paean to England in slow, gracefully consonant chordal passages.'
New York Times (Allan Kozinn), 19 February 1999