Thomas Adès’s Violin Concerto, written in 2005, is one of the most important additions to the violin concerto repertoire since Ligeti’s. Cast in three contrasting movements – each linked by a preoccupation with circling musical figures – the concerto, subtitled ‘Concentric Paths’ now occupies a place in standard repertoire. Two lithe, rhythmically driven movements – ‘Rings’ and ‘Rounds’ – bookend ‘Paths’ an intensely emotional and gritty exploration of passacaglia-like sequences which peaks in a lyrical outpouring of exceptional beauty.
‘In just 20 minutes, this three-movement piece does something magical. The way it swirls ethereally in the first movement, exerts a tragic and vice-like grip in the chaconne-like second part and finally propels you into the uninhibited flight of the finale is like being spun into an infinite space.’
The Guardian (Tom Service)