Although Thomas Adès is probably best known for his compositions (and in particular, the infamous Powder Her Face), but he’s a fine pianist and conductor as well. This new Signum Classics release combines his performance of Beethoven’s first three symphonies with new works by the Irish composer Gerald Barry.
Adès’ direction of the Britten Sinfonia is excellent, as you might expect.

Together, they take a historical-ish approach to these works – tempi are swift, and articulations are crisp. Still, while these might not be world-shatteringly new performances, there’s something to be said for the wonderful colours Adès and the Britten Sinfonia conjure up. The sheer power of Beethoven’s Eroicacomes across beautifully, for instance, despite the chamber scale of the ensemble, and Adès’ sharp direction cuts through the potential for...

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