On 25 March the Boston Symphony Orchestra presented a thematic program largely based on music inspired by Shakespeare’s The Tempest. Adès conducted Tchaikovsky’s tone poem named after the play, and Sibelius’ incidental music to the work, alongside scenes from his own opera, as well as his Violin Concerto performed by Anthony Marwood.

Click here to read a recent article on Thomas Adès in The Boston Globe

'What is notable with Adès – a childhood “sponge”, as the programme notes put it – is how lightly he wears his influences, embracing them and collapsing them into a highly original voice. Adès’s concerto sees little reason to subvert the genre from within, as Birtwistle’s does. Indeed, in a short speech before the performance, Adès pointed to the growing tendency in concerto writing to have the soloist working as first among equals. His first movement works much along these lines, but subtly: overtones and simple high playing put Anthony Marwood’s violin in the stratosphere, complimenting the rhythmic complexity of contemporary dance music and Reichian sequences underneath and within. As the concerto develops, however, the violin and orchestra grow apart. Fragmented visions of a long gone past drift in and out of the picture, like Webern a century later. It’s as if a brashly conceived Romantic concerto is recovering in front of us from being punched in the face. The slow movement, ‘Paths’, seemingly drives towards a triumphant lyricism, but then descends away, staggering, as if Adès can’t quite bring it to move full circle. Its finale, ‘Rounds’, returns and enhances the foot-tapping quality of the opener, ‘Rings’, dancing its way towards through refracted melodies, imitations, and diversions.'
www.unpredictableinevitability.com (David Allen), March 2011