11 Pages


After Asyla

The growing demand for Ades as a pianist, conductor and music director has encroached upon his compositional work. The declining rate at which new scores are produced can also be attributed to the fact that the post-Asyla works intensify a trend towards large-scale, intricate and compositionally demanding musical structures. Premiered just under four weeks after Asyla by Birmingham Contemporary Music Group, and directed by Ades from the piano, the Concerto Conciso provided an immediate reminder of Ades's more playful, spiky, neo-classical impulses. It was only relatively late in the day that the librettist (Meredith Oakes) and subject (The Tempest) were chosen for Ades's second opera. The distance between Ades's treatment of expression in The Tempest and Asyla is best demonstrated by material first sung by Prospero that follows the contours of the main melody of the slow movement of Asyla. The first post-Tempest work is series of scenes drawn from the opera for concert performance.