Backstage Access: Alan Gilbert leads NY Phil for final time in Vail; Classically Uncorked Aug. 1-3
If you go …
What: A Maestro’s Farewell, Alan Gilbert leads New York Philharmonic for final time at Bravo! Vail.
Where: Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater, Vail.
When: Friday, July 28, 6 p.m.
Cost: Tickets start at $28.
More information: Visit www.bravovail.org.
What: Classically Uncorked.
Where: Donovan Pavilion, Vail.
When: Aug. 1-3, 7:30 p.m.
Cost: $50, include two glasses of exclusive Arietta wines and gourmet hors d’oeuvres.
More information: Visit www.bravovail.org.
Tonight is the final concert in which Alan Gilbert will appear at Bravo! Vail as music director of the New York Philharmonic.
The past three concerts were intentionally programmed to both celebrate his collaboration with Bravo! Vail artistic director Anne-Marie McDermott, who performed as soloist in Gershwin’s Piano Concerto on Wednesday night and showcase the power of this orchestra in Mahler’s Seventh Symphony on Thursday night and Beethoven’s iconic Ninth Symphony tonight.
With the splendor of piano concerti and symphonies from Beethoven and Mahler that make up maestro Gilbert’s final triplet of concerts in Vail, it would have been easy to overlook a short, but important piece of music performed a couple nights ago — a world premiere by the composer Julia Adolphe.
New and Old Collide
It isn’t every day that you have the chance to hear a major orchestra perform a new piece of music for the first time. However, in honor of Bravo’s 30th season, the performance of Adolphe’s 10-minute “White Stone” was the fourth of five world premieres this summer and the New York Philharmonic’s way of celebrating Bravo! Vail’s 30 years of extraordinary music making.
That program allowed a collision, if you will, of unfamiliar music programmed with tried and true audience favorites. Adolphe’s brand-new piece was followed by Gershwin’s Piano Concerto and Dvorak’s famous Symphony No. 9, “From the New World.”
Listening to unfamiliar music in the context of music we cherish forces us to remember that all music was once new. Juxtaposing classical favorites with new music happens all of the time in classical music programming because the collision of new and old creates a fascinating listening opportunity — we listen differently, openly, more curiously.
WEEK OF EXPLORATION
This idea, the contrast of old and new music, is the premise of next week’s Classically Uncorked Series at the Donovan Pavilion. Bravo! Vail has the rare opportunity of hosting three quartets in one week, along with a staggeringly extensive and diverse lineup of string quartet repertoire that has been building for more than 300 years.
To kick off a week of exploration of old versus new music, Tuesday night’s concert begins with a piece written in 2006 followed by Beethoven’s C minor Piano Sonata, written in 1821-1822. The mash-up becomes more intriguing on Wednesday with the music of Schubert, written in 1820, surrounded by 20th century string quartets from American composers Philip Glass and Vincent Persichetti and the Hungarian composer Gyorgy Kurtag. On Thursday, three different string quartets take the stage. The evening opens with Anne-Marie McDermott’s performance of Brahms’ Three Intermezzos for Piano (written in 1892), and then we fast forward 100 years to explore how a world premiere by American composer David Ludwig contrasts against Philip Glass and Steve Reich quartets. Audiences are in for a rare treat as all three quartets perform Reich’s Triple Quartet for the final piece!
When you listen to a concert that includes music from the 19th and 21st centuries all within the span of 90 minutes, you have a unique opportunity to listen differently. What happens when you listen to Beethoven’s music after hearing a piece that was written only a few years ago, with an added bonus of sipping wine inspired by the pieces? Come to the Classically Uncorked Series and find out!
Jennifer Teisinger is the executive director of the Bravo! Vail Music Festival, which runs through Friday. For more information about the season and to purchase tickets, visit bravovail.org or call 877-812-5700.
It’s a big deal when the governor pops in for a visit, especially if he traveled to the other side of the world to do it.