Season Theme: Enchantment
At the 2017 Aspen Music Festival and School, audiences will be offered an intelligently curated mix of concerts exploring the season theme of “enchantment” through the lenses of myth, fairy tales, magic spells, forbidden love, transformation, and the transcendent delights of nature.
The idea of enchantment-as-transformation has fascinated storytellers since the days of Aesop. Music is full of this kind of enchantment, whether it be the objects-come-to-life of Ravel’s opera L’enfant et les sortilèges, (“The Child and the Enchantment”), which sees fairy tale characters, furniture, crockery, plants and stuffed animals chastise a peevish child who has been tormenting them (conducted by AMFS Music Director Robert Spano in a concert presentation, July 21) or the more subtle musical transformations, like Strauss’s orchestral transpositions of Couperin’s harpsicord dance works (conducted by Seattle Symphony Music Director Ludovic Morlot, June 30).
Other works illustrating “enchantment” in the 2017 program include Zemlinsky’s The Mermaid, Symphonic Fantasy (July 23), a musical telling of the classic tale of a mermaid who wishes to become human to be with her true love; Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade (July 26), about the spellbinding power of storytelling; Stravinsky’s Petrushka (August 16), about three puppets come to life; Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite (August 6), based on this compelling figure popular in Russian fairy tales; Mozart’s Overture to The Magic Flute (July 7) ; Prokofiev’s Symphonic Suite from The Love for Three Oranges (July 14), a setting of an almost absurdist Italian fairy tale; Christopher Theofanidis’s Dreamtime Ancestors (July 30), based on an Australian aboriginal myth; and Debussy’s Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun (July 15), a gossamer work portraying the shifting moods of a faun through an afternoon.