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'Asylum gained'? : madness and sanctuary in Thomas Adès's "Asyla".

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

  • Edward Venn
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>03/2006
<mark>Journal</mark>Music Analysis
Issue number1-2
Number of pages32
Pages (from-to)89-120
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Critical commentary on Thomas Adès's orchestral piece Asyla (1997) has so far chosen to concentrate on the implications of the work's ambivalent title. The present article seeks to explore the nature of this reception history in greater depth, in particular the way that Asyla has been represented through the medium of television. Employing strategies outlined in Nicholas Cook's work on musical multimedia, this form of visual mediation is combined with the music of Asyla in order to fashion a coherent hermeneutic paradigm. Concerned to question the purpose of any univocal interpretation, however, a formalist reading of the work's finale then proceeds to invert the relationship between primary and secondary analytical perspectives, an approach which reveals the value of an expanded semantic field.