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Customer Review

14 of 18 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Suppose you had to be there.., 26 Jun. 2009
This review is from: Adès: The Tempest (Audio CD)
First of all, I love Thomas Ades and own every recording available. I'm listening to this for the fourth time now and unfortunately I still feel the same, its all just a bit dull.. Don't get me wrong, its a beautifully crafted opera and the performance is very good, I'm just not feeling anything from it. Mr Ades always strives to do something different with every work he writes but this time he seems to have borrowed styles from Wagner to Strauss, Britten and more recently, and I have to say regrettably - Gerald Barry! in an attempt to make the ultimate Tempest as some of the great composers in the past have wanted to do. If only he had kept his more youthfull, inventive approach like in "Powder her Face where he keeps you gripped and surprised from start to finish, with his incredible imagination and ability to stretch an orchestra to its limits. But instead he seems to have matured a bit too early and wrote music that traditionalists and old school critics will love.
The style is in the late romantic mode and the scenes a sang as one long aria without any motifs and with tonal orchestration blending behind the melodic sang words. (and there are alot of words!) The highlights for me are the preludes with the swirling chromatic lines interweaving against each other but these seem to set a scene for something else..
A lot of great works of art take time to effect you, so it may grow on me, but in the meantime I'll stick to Verdi's Macbeth or Falstaff.
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Tracked by 1 customer

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Showing 1-9 of 9 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 31 Jul 2009 16:50:27 BDT
I realise it's a question of taste but I think Gerald Barry's Triumph of Beauty and Deceit is a great opera, particularly if you like Handel, even if Barry is a bit frenetic for some people. There was a certain amount of febrile activity in The Tempest and Ades has conducted Barry's opera before, so it's likely it's rubbed off. But I don't find any of this regrettable.

In reply to an earlier post on 18 Sep 2009 00:40:17 BDT
the Tempest is quite different to the untamed energy of Gerald Barry, though there are surface aspects of his music in the opera.

In reply to an earlier post on 23 Apr 2010 10:18:22 BDT
D. E. Potts says:
Hi, sorry just read this now, I own both Triumph of time and The Intelligence park and rate them both very highly and believe Gerald Barry is a unique and important composer. I think I was expecting something more original from Ades and first impressions make you draw on comparrisons. I only said regrettably because I really admire Barry. I must say however, I keep going back to the Tempest and I'm Liking it more and more. The orchestral score is quite brilliant at times and cleverly sublte rather than in your face like in Powder her Face. I also reallise how hard it must be to turn Shakespeare into opera without losing any of original literature so in a perfect world the opera could have been alot longer, rather than squeezing it all into 90 mins or so. Thanks for your comments. David

Posted on 22 May 2010 07:47:49 BDT
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

In reply to an earlier post on 28 Jun 2010 14:37:19 BDT
D. E. Potts says:
I didnt realise this was an English lesson? You seem quite angry that you cant quite "get" Thomas ades music so you have resorted to pointing out my bad english.. This is Amazon not Grammophone Magazine! I am the general public giving my honest opinion and not trying to be clever. Do you understand?

In reply to an earlier post on 29 Jun 2010 12:38:16 BDT
Last edited by the author on 9 Jul 2010 07:33:09 BDT
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

In reply to an earlier post on 8 Jul 2010 15:37:05 BDT
D. E. Potts says:
87 people and counting have found my reviews helpful without feeling the need to point out my bad English. By the way, your grammar is less than perfect. You should have put a comma after "As I said".

In reply to an earlier post on 15 Sep 2010 19:36:50 BDT
Interesting exchanges.
It is 'sung' by the way and not 'sang'- you can edit your reviews after posting.
Have you listened to Turnage's 'The Silver Tassie'??

In reply to an earlier post on 12 Feb 2011 22:36:01 GMT
D. E. Potts says:
it's "sang" where I come from... and don't consider Turnage to be serious enough a composer to have an opinion on.
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