Aspen Music Festival And School

Aspen Festival Orchestra

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BRAHMS: Concerto for Violin and Cello in A minor, op. 102
PROKOFIEV: Piano Concerto No. 3 in C major, op. 26
RAVEL: Daphnis et Chloé Suite No. 2

Brahms and the violinist Joseph Joachim were close friends, and Brahms even composed his famous – and only- violin concerto for him. Things went sour when Joachim accused his wife of infidelity, and Brahms sided with her during the divorce. Brahms eventually reached out to Joachim by floating an idea of a concerto for violin and cello. The piece worked to reconcile the two, and is very much like a conversation between two friends, ranging from playful to competitive, sweet to gruff. The slow movement has one of the most gorgeous tunes of all time, and the infectious gypsy-inspired finale will make you want to dance.

Two dynamic young artists and three colorful compositions add up to an afternoon of musical fun and excitement. Born in 2001, Russian pianist Alexander Malofeev has won multiple major international awards including First Prize of the Tchaikovsky International Competition for Young Pianists. Already a seasoned touring artist, he was praised by for his performance of Rachmaninov’s Second Piano Concerto last year in France. He “seems to dance on the keyboard, [and] his ease in the very technical parts and his maturity in the darker passages are amazing.” Prokofiev’s Third Piano Concerto stands near the top of the list for high-voltage virtuosic concertos. The last movement is especially thrilling, with pounding chords from the soloist surrounded by blazing sounds from the orchestra.

Ravel’s sensuous and shimmering orchestration in the ballet suite Daphnis and Chloé makes it one of the most beautiful creations in all of music. The depiction of the sunrise is especially sublime, and the frenzied bacchanale will bring this extraordinary concert to a thrilling conclusion.

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Robert Spano, Music Director

Alan Fletcher, President and CEO