Philadelphia Orchestra takes residency at Bravo! Vail July 7-15
IF YOU GO …
What: The Philadelphia Orchestra in residence at Bravo! Vail.
When: 6 p.m. on July 7, July 8 (special time: 7:30 p.m.), July 9, July 13, July 14, and July 15.
Where: Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater, Vail.
Cost: Lawn tickets: $28, pavilion seats: $44-$129.
More information: Visit http://www.bravovail.org or call 877-812-5700.
VAIL — Under the leadership of music director Yannick Nezet-Seguin, The Philadelphia Orchestra returns for a six-concert residency July 7–15 featuring works that are cornerstones of the orchestra’s programmatic vision, offering audiences in Vail the best of everything the orchestra has accomplished this season.
The residency includes popular orchestral pieces, an award-winning film score, a world premiere and internationally acclaimed guest artists.
Stephane Deneve, the orchestra’s principal guest conductor, begins the first concert of the residency on Friday, July 7, with two works by Tchaikovsky: the folk-song-infused Andante Cantabile (arranged from a string quartet by former Philadelphia Orchestra music director Leopold Stokowski) and the brilliant Violin Concerto, featuring Grammy Award-winning violinist and frequent Deneve collaborator James Ehnes. The concert concludes with a showcase for the legendary “Philadelphia Sound” with Sibelius’ stirring Symphony No. 2, which the composer called “a confession of the soul.”
For its second program, on Saturday, July 8, the orchestra presents a screening of the 1982 Steven Spielberg-directed film “E. T. The Extra Terrestrial,” with a live performance of John Williams’s Academy Award-winning score, conducted by Deneve. This charming film about childhood wonder and magic is made all the more moving by Williams’ enchanting score, and the whole experience promises to be truly heart-warming for audiences of all ages.
On Sunday, July 9, Deneve leads the world premiere of Le Tombeau des Regrets, a Bravo! Vail commission by French composer Guillaume Connesson, followed by Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 4, featuring Haochen Zhang in his Bravo! Vail debut. (In 2009, four days after his 19th birthday, Zhang became the youngest musician to win the Gold Medal in the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition.) Beethoven’s regal Symphony No. 7 — which the composer once described as “one of my best works” — closes out the program.
Music director Yannick Nézet-Séguin leads the orchestra’s Thursday, July 13 concert, which features two works each by Bach and Brahms. The program begins with selections from Brahms’s Eleven Chorale Preludes, beautifully transcribed from their original organ setting and commissioned by The Philadelphia Orchestra. Next are well-known orchestrations by Stokowski of organ works by Bach: the Passacaglia and Fugue in C minor and the Toccata and Fugue in D minor (the opening piece of Disney’s original “Fantasia” film). The program concludes with Brahms’s glorious Symphony No. 2, full of pastoral themes and joyful intensity.
For the concert on Friday, July 14, Nezet-Seguin conducts works that span the Classical, Romantic and modern eras, beginning with Tchaikovsky’s tragic tone poem Francesca da Rimini, which draws inspiration from Dante’s Divine Comedy. The program continues with Grammy Award-winning violinist Gil Shaham joining the orchestra for Mozart’s exuberant Violin Concerto No. 3, written when the composer was 19 years old. Closing out the program is music from Stravinsky’s ballet Petrushka, which the orchestra recently recorded live in Philadelphia for future release on the Deutsche Grammophon label.
The orchestra’s residency concludes on Saturday, July 15 with Nezet-Seguin conducting four powerful works. The program begins with selections from Beethoven’s only ballet, The Creatures of Prometheus, followed by Prokofiev’s forward-looking Piano Concerto No. 2, featuring Grammy Award-winning pianist Yefim Bronfman. In the second half of the program, the orchestra performs Mason Bates’s Alternative Energy, a unique work that utilizes technology and innovative orchestration to give the performance a spatial effect which The San Francisco Chronicle described as “formidable and inventive,” and the L. A. Times called “fascinating.” The program concludes with Tchaikovsky’s popular 1812 Overture, which is justly famous for its rousing finale.