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Thomas Adès’ Darknesse Visible

Watch & Listen

Extraordinary composer-pianist-conductor Thomas Adès has a long relationship with the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Here the orchestra’s keyboardist, Joanne Pearce Martin, plays Adès’ tribute to fellow Brit John Dowland whose 400-year-old song “In Darknesse Let Me Dwell” Adès has “exploded” for piano.

Adès added no notes to Dowland’s tune; he even left out a few. You hear the primary material clearly struck one note at a time, like a chime, all over the keyboard, while mysterious pitches flutter quietly in the background, always maintaining Dowland’s somber mood. Described by Gramophone as, “A haunting meditation in which the presence of John Dowland is clearest where the music seems least like him: a magical illusion as well as a moving homage.”