New York Philharmonic wraps up residency this week in Vail

OK, there are times that work stinks. It has a tendency to get in the way of things one really wants to do.

For instance Sunday, I had to do my day job as the sports editor of the Vail Daily, instead of doing what I really wanted to do — go to the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater and see the New York Philharmonic. (I’m a sports writer by trade, but I grew up on classical music, so when Bravo! Vail starts, I shift writing gears.) But when 200-something people run all over Vail Mountain in the Vail Half Marathon, I sort of need to get that in the paper.

(Note to self: It’s probably not the best thing to vetch about work, while at work and have it printed by your employer. Ooops.)

However, all ended nicely Sunday when one of my co-workers who was on the lawn in person texted me, saying that Sunday’s concert was on Colorado Public Radio. So as I type this at the world headquarters of the Vail Daily, we are actually at intermission of Sunday’s concert, thanks to Al Gore’s Internet. (OK, I hope you people are getting that extra bottle of wine in an orderly fashion and return to your seats when the bell starts to ring. Also, don’t tell me how Rimsky-Korsakov’s “Scheherazade” turns out. My money’s on the Sultana.)

One of the fun things, having seen Alan Gilbert as well as Jean-Yves Thibodaut in person often, is that I could envison all involved performing Liszt’s “Totentanz.” The sound is fantastic here in Eagle-Vail. Thibaudet remains one of my Bravo! Vail favorites. Thumbs up from U.S. Highway 6 here.

On a serious note, well done to all involved who made this possible. Kudos and thank-yous presumably go out to the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, The Philadelphia Orchestra and the New York Philharmonic as all three have consented to be a part of the broadcasts through the season, as well as Colorado Public Radio and the festival. I apologize to whomever I’ve left out.

This is very exciting and significant for Bravo! Vail. As much as there is a proprietary feeling toward the festival by regular attendees, Bravo! Vail is a huge feather in the cap of this community. (Egad, I’m starting to sound like a chamber of commerce guy. We, in the fourth estate, really shouldn’t be so.) Lots of places have summer music festivals from Aspen to Chicago (current Bravo! Vail executive director James Palermo has a similar role with the Grant Lake Musical Festival) to Tanglewood in Massachusetts.

Yet, we’ve got a very special thing going here with three resident orchestras, including two of the so-called “Big Five” with Philadelphia and New York. (For the trivially-inclined, the other three would be Chicago, Cleveland and Boston.) Live broadcasts (or recorded ones replayed) such as this one help raise Bravo! Vail’s profile nationally, which is richly deserved.

OK, looking ahead to the final week of the New York Philharmonic’s residency:

Tonight

It’s Broadway Night with the Philharmonic. With a who’s-who of Broadway melodies from Gershwin to Berlin to Rogers and Hart to Bernstein, this should be fun and have a broad appeal to those who might be a little scared of dipping their toes into classical-music waters. Give it a try.

Thursday

Bramwell Tovey leads the New York Philharmonic in a program aptly-titled “Summertime Classics.” It’s Sibelius’ “Finlandia,” dances from Copland’s “Rodeo” and Dvorak’s Eighth. The sports editor will not be covering sports, but attending this one. Just an opinion: Dvorak’s Eighth is more fun than the Ninth, which everyone seemed to like when the Dallas Symphony Orchestra performed it in June.

Also on the program is Tovey’s “The Lincoln Tunnel Cabaret for Trombone and Orchestra.” (Yep, the conductor wrote it.)

Friday

The symphonic finale is another can’t-miss concert. The featured piece is Holst’s “The Planets.” The musical tour of the solar system is always spectacular. (Poor Pluto, still being downgraded. Pluto wasn’t discovered when Holst wrote this, so all the other planets have movements. Since Pluto was discovered, other composers have written a movement for the orb. But, alas, the New York Philharmonic understandably is sticking to the original score, so no Pluto for you, with apologies to Seinfeld.)

Sibelius’s Violin Concerto is also on the program. Gil Shaham does the honors here. He is not to be missed.

And the good news is, according to the applause on the radio/Internet, it appears the Sultana has survived.

Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934 or via cfreud@vaildaily.com. He is the sports editor of the paper, a huge classical music fan and spends his summers going to Bravo! Vail, playing golf and yelling at the San Francisco Giants.


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The VailDaily Updated Jul 23, 2013 04:54PM Published Jul 23, 2013 09:12PM Copyright 2013 The VailDaily. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.