Review: New Jersey Symphony in U.S. premiere of Ades’s “Shanty—Over the Sea”

Posted on: January 24, 2022

“After almost 100 years as the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, the organization a few weeks ago announced that it was dropping the ‘O’ in NJSO,” writes James C. Taylor in Friday’s (1/21) Star-Ledger (NJ). “So, last weekend in Red Bank … audiences at the [Count Basie Theater] were the first to hear the NJS as they performed the U.S. premiere of composer Thomas Ades’ latest piece, ‘Shanty—Over the Sea’ … a seven-minute work for strings…. One can detect a recognizable, rising melody that keeps ascending … then … low, bass growls and groans… Shimmering sounds grew into one full note that held beautifully, like the last rays of a sunset; you wish it would extend just a little bit more—then suddenly it’s over. It was an engaging new piece and a good fit—rich and immediate. NJS is one of nine orchestras around the world that co-commissioned ‘Shanty—Over the Sea’ from Ades, a testament to the orchestra’s commitment to play fresh work by living composers.” The program was guest conducted by Andrey Boreyko—music director of Florida’s Naples Philharmonic—and also included Grieg’s Piano Concerto with Vladimir Feltsman as soloist, and Stravinsky’s ballet score Petrushka.