How’s this for contrast?

Every now and then (well, once…) I post “music that makes me happy to be alive” – music that I want everybody to listen to, in hopes that somebody who hears it will love it as much as I do. Given the infrequency of my posts on this subject, I’d better double up and share two rather different pieces of music, both of which I am veritably crazy about: Darknesse Visible by Thomas Adès, and Appalachian Spring by Aaron Copland.

The Adès is an arrangment, or as he puts it in the score, “an explosion” of John Dowland’s “In Darknesse let Mee Dwell,” written in 1992 when Ades was 21 years old (!) The colours he gets out of the piano are wonderful, and rather odd. The Copland is the 1945 orchestral suite from the eponymous ballet, whose Allegro section (2:46 – 5:30) is outrageously joyful…but don’t take my word for it, listen to these!

Thomas Adès – Darknesse Visible (solo piano)

Aaron Copland – Appalachian Spring (orchestral suite from 1945)

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