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This chapter focuses on the chaconne and demonstrates how existing approaches to pitch in Adès’s employment of the form in Arcadiana, Concerto conciso and the Violin Concerto are enriched through an appreciation of his handling of rhythm and texture to generate larger-scale musical and dramatic structures. In the three instrumental movements examined in this chapter the pitch structure of Adès’s chaconnes undergo the usual kinds of changes expected of this variation form. Attending to only the pitch organisation does not provide a complete picture of the complexities of an Adèsian chaconne. For Adès, the repetition of the chaconne cycle provides an opportunity to superimpose independent layers of rhythmic patterns that heighten and enrich the pitch and harmonic musical transformations. The temporal implications of Adès’s chaconnes provide new insights into the processes that structure his form on the larger scale.
Thomas Adès is a dominant force in contemporary music, whose work attracts significant attention and acclaim, and has been performed by many renowned ensembles. This volume – the first to present a range of scholarly essays on every aspect of Adès's music – offers authoritative accounts of Adès's major compositions from a variety of analytical, critical, cultural and historical perspectives. The opening chapters focus on Adès's earlier music, offering close readings of key works. Further essays focus on his engagement with forms and instrumental genres. The final chapters turn to Adès's texted music and highlight how themes introduced in earlier chapters cut across Adès's entire output. Richly illustrated with musical examples and supported by further online material, this book provides a multi-faceted portrait of Adès's work that opens up new ways of thinking about, and engaging with, his music.
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