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Adès and Couperin: Old Wine in New Skins

Thomas Ades; photo by Brian Voice

Thomas Ades; photo by Brian Voice

The New York Philharmonic, Thursday at 8:00 PM

“At its London premiere I thought (Adès’s) “The Tempest” one of the most inspired, audacious and personal operas to have come along in years.”

—Anthony Tommasini, The New York Times

Thomas Adès is featured on Thursday’s New York Philharmonic broadcast. Though he happens to be a gifted pianist and conductor (which could be more than a full-time career), he is decidedly a composer first. Thursday’sbroadcast features guest conductor David Zinman and composer-Adès’s homage to François Couperin in the form of orchestrations of three keyboard pieces.

“My ideal day would be staying at home and playing the harpsichord works of Couperin—new inspiration on every page.”

There are many cases of modern composers borrowing material from the Baroque; this piece follows in the vain of Pulcinella by Stravinsky in that the composer applies contemporary orchestration to surprising effect. In an interview with WFMT’s Louise Frank, conductor David Robertson muses about Adès’s ability to take familiar musical ideas to unfamiliar places:

Hear music by Thomas Adès, along with Richard Goode playing Mozart, and Mendelssohn’s Scottish Symphony on The New York Philharmonic This Week on Thursday at 8:00 PM

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