'A tour de force, a vertiginious ride through a wild, wonderful musical landscape.' The Guardian


cl.bsax – tpt.trbn.tuba – perc(1): timp/crot/3 rototoms/5 tuned tpl.bl/2 wood drum/log drum/talking drum/wood chimes/hi-hat/tam-t/anvil/pedal BD/2 stones – pno – 3 vln.db


Score and parts for hire

Programme Notes

The work is scored for solo piano and an ensemble of ten players, comprising clarinet, baritone saxophone, trumpet, trombone, tuba, percussion, 3 violins and double bass.  It is in two movements.  The first was originally entitled Study for a Coda, and casts the pianist in the deliberately restricted role of musical director, with a semi-soloistic continuo part.  The soloist is released, and claims centre stage, at the beginning of the second movement.  This has two parts: firstly, a slow ciacconetta, which runs through six divisions upon a seven-bar chord sequence announced by the piano; secondly, a fast brawl in a tonality discovered by an unexpected resolution of the last cycle of the ciacconetta.  The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians describes the mediaeval English dance which this section might evoke (from the French branle) as a form of round-dance: “the linked dancers. . . face inwards to the centre of an arc, or a full circle, moving sideways to the left and the right”.

Thomas Adès


'Dense with original ideas, often rumbustious in improvisational low-jazzy style, and yet tautly shaped and organised… this ‘pendant’ has the depth of a first-water gem…This clever, formidably resourceful piece crowned – or ‘capped’, at least: it has no grandiose airs – what was anyway a terrific programme, reflecting Adès’ fastidious taste.'
Financial Times (David Murray), 30 October 1997
'Though only 26, he has an old-world ability to create an audience buzz of excitement about the new in music… he has already explored keyboard texture and sonority with bristling insight; in the Concerto Conciso, given its London premiere at the weekend, he combines those strengths with the clarity and punch he demonstrated in These Premises are Alarmed… It is a pithy work, and one of formidable rhythmic complexity… The drama of Concerto Conciso is intense, its whirlwind impact galvanising.'
The Daily Telegraph (Geoffrey Norris), 18 November 1997

Concerto Conciso

Recorded for broadcast on Radio 3

LSO St Luke's (London, United Kingdom)

Musicians from LSO/Kirill Gerstein/Katalin Karolyi/Thomas Adès