On 18 January Sean Shibe will give the UK premiere of Thomas Adès’ Forgotten Dances at LSO St. Luke’s. The 20-minute work is Adès’ first published work for a solo instrument other than piano. It was commissioned by the Barbican Centre and the European Concert Hall Organisation in the framework of ECHO Rising Stars.

Forgotten Dances is cast in six movements. It opens with ‘Overture - Queen of the Spiders’, in which shifting tempi and ornate melodic lines create an atmosphere of mystery and anticipation. ‘Berceuse – Paradise of Thebes’ follows, whose title recalls an episode in Luis Buñuel’s The Exterminating Angel. ‘Here was a swift’ references Max Ernst and features quicksilver passagework that calls for brilliant virtuosity. ‘Barcarolle – the Maiden Voyage’ offers a more delicate, lyrical contrast to the preceding tumult. ‘Carillon de Ville’ follows, a tribute to Berlioz that begins with delicate pealing before its resounding chords grow denser and more dissonant, ushering in a clamorous end. It concludes with the chaconne-like ‘Vesper’, dedicated to Henry Purcell and based on the Evening Hymn.

Since its world premiere from Shibe at the Wiener Konzerthaus on 5 October, he has performed the piece at MÜPA Budapest, Grzegorz Fitelberg Concert Hall, Katowice, Konzerthaus Dortmund, and the Concertgebouw. Shibe will tour Forgotten Dances in 2024 to venues including BOZAR, the Elbphilharmonie, Philharmonie de Paris, Stockholm’s Konserthuset, Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian, and L'Auditori.