A symphony of planetary dimensions and a companion piece, written 100 years later, which shines like its incandescent moon.
'Concentric Paths' by Thomas Adès is the first great violin concerto of this century. Performed here by Anthony Marwood, for whom it was composed, it’s an exhilarating, densely packed 20 minutes of superbly painted sound that conjures strange landscapes now ethereal, now desolate, now pulsing with life. Its tonal and melodic language, familiar yet entirely new, has an immediate emotional impact.
Emotions explode and collide too in Mahler’s towering Fifth, arguably the most sustained and exciting of all orchestral showpieces.
The soul-wrenching journey from its funereal opening fanfare to the blazingly triumphant final pages seems to encompass it all: klezmer, schmaltz, complex counterpoint, brutal marches, humiliating defeats, visions of hell to come.
And of course that most consummate of all musical love letters, the heart breaking 'Adagietto'.
Nicholas Carter leads the ASO at the top of their game. Be there.
Thomas Adès: Violin Concerto ‘Concentric Paths’ Op. 23
Mahler: Symphony No. 5 in C-sharp minor
“you can be in no doubt [that the Adès] is a masterpiece, its shape and ecstatic lyricism rooted in tradition but with an irresistible modern edge. Not a note is wasted: this … concerto grips the ear throughout.”