9 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on 12 June 2001
I found the music of Thomas Ades so exciting and original, that I bought this title as soon as I had heard it. It is definitely listenable, unlike some inpenetrable contemporary music, and its rhythmic and tonal excitement will cater for all tastes. This is a truly great work, and I would recommend it even to those who are not sure whether to buy it.
Ades is on fine form here, and a young talent to watch out for in the future.
7 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on 29 January 2000
All of the music on this disc is wonderful in one way or another. I'm not sure that the 'Chamber Symphony' is as telling as the Adams or Schoenberg, and it may well be cast into the Juvenilia box later but all else surrounding it is superb. 'Asyla', winner of many thousands of $, is the cherry on the top. The references to dance music are a little obvious and unnecessary but the other three movements are classic essays in new life through old formats. The best contemporary orchestral disc this year (shared with Carter's 'Clarinet Concerto' and 'Symphonia')...
14 of 29 people found the following review helpful
on 16 December 2000
Personally, although his sense of shape and structure is generally economical and his sense of invention is strong, I found Thomas Ades' music to be rather cold and harsh. Andrew Porter's pandering liner notes hail Ades' off-the-wall sense of sound color and instrumentation, but a closer listen reveals the results to be less than the sum of its parts - nothing is really all that interesting. Therefore, there's no humanity in the music, just the edgy shadows of the dark side of contemporary life.
Perhaps Ades' downfall is the hype that his publicity machine has been creating for him. He is being marketed as finally "getting" what "no other contemporary composer" has gotten yet. I think that's a tremendously unfair assessment, neglecting the gifts of the many new voices to be heard if they were only given a chance. Perhaps EMI and other major record labels will understand this and give young composers a way of making themselves heard instead of having to wait around for that big opportunity that may never come.