The Strad Issue: January 2010
Description: Selection disc 1:
Musicians: Anthony Marwood (violin) Chamber Orchestra of Europe/Thomas Adès*, Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra/Simon Rattle† , National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain/Paul Daniel‡
Composer: Adès

One of the challenges facing composers over the last century or so has been the semantic and tonal rift that often exists between their ideal sound worlds and those entrusted to realise them. Happily there are no such problems here, as Anthony Marwood’s quicksilver virtuosity and small-scale tonal purity fit hand in glove with the exuberant detailing of Adès’s scoring. He has also been balanced discreetly against the orchestra ensuring that his ‘lone voice’ emerges from and recedes back into the musical fabric with the expressive flexibility of chamber music writ large.  

Cast in three movements, Adès’s work plays against expectations by counterbalancing the predominately light-as-air flutterings of the brief opening ‘Rings’ with an extended slow movement (‘Paths’) of Bartók-like introspection, and a finale (‘Rounds’) of haunting expressive power. Marwood captures its glittering refractions of musical light with captivating sensitivity, complemented to perfection by the Chamber Orchestra of Europe’s fine-honed textural transparency under the composer’s expert baton. The couplings are no less authoritative, Tevot proving especially compelling.