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TCHAIKOVSKY Violin Concerto in D major, op. 35
G. MAHLER Symphony No. 5 in C-sharp minor
Tchaikovsky wrote his only Violin Concerto in a stunning mountain setting on Lake Geneva in Switzerland. He was inspired by a visit from the violinist Iosif Kotek, one of Tchaikovsky’s admiring students who had been asking the composer for a violin concerto for some time. After Kotek graduated, Tchaikovsky confessed to his brother Modest that he was in love with him. Though Kotek was mostly heterosexual, he seems to have returned Tchaikovsky’s feelings, albeit briefly. After their infatuation cooled, they remained close friends, and their collaboration produced one of the most popular violin concertos ever written. Had Tchaikovsky not feared malicious gossip, he would have dedicated the work to Kotek, but instead dedicated it to the famous Hungarian violinist Leopold Auer, who rejected the piece as unplayable. At the premiere, the critics were especially harsh, with one calling it “music that stinks in the ear.” It’s hard to imagine that this mainstay of the concert stage with its ravishing melodies and thrilling pyrotechnics could have invited such a scathing response. Hear this season’s Violin Competiton Winner take on this challenging work.
Mahler’s dramatic and triumphant 5th Symphony closes the program. It includes Mahler’s “greatest hit” the exquisite Adagietto for strings and harp, a musical love letter to Alma Schindler, a socialite 20 years his junior who would soon become his wife.
Don’t miss this final exciting program by the Aspen Conducting Academy Orchestra!
Hear orchestral masterworks and see the conducting stars of tomorrow. Each movement of each work is conducted by a different student conductor, each of whom plays in the orchestra when not on the podium. Program Director and AMFS Music Director Robert Spano observes the work of his students at this weekly event.