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With special thanks to Edward P. and Sasha C. Bass
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BRITTEN: Serenade for Tenor, Horn, and Strings, op. 31
STRAVINSKY: Violin Concerto in D major
R. STRAUSS: Le bourgeois gentilhomme, op. 60
Recognized as one of the world’s great violinists, AMFS alumna Sarah Chang returns to the Benedict Music Tent to perform Stravinsky under the direction of conductor Johannes Debus. Stravinsky’s Violin Concerto premiered in October 1931 in Berlin with Stravinsky himself conducting. The Concerto contains four movements, each beginning with a different configuration of a dissonant “passport chord”, a theatrical allusion to the signal for a curtain opening.
Britten wrote his Serenade for Tenor, Horn, and Strings in 1943 for his partner, tenor Peter Pears, and 22-year-old Dennis Brain, who was quickly on his way to becoming one of the greatest horn players in history. The work features settings of six poems — which span the 16th through the 19th centuries, center on the theme of night, and were written by the likes of Jonson, Tennyson, Blake, and Keats — bookended by two horn solos. Tenor and AMFS alumnus Ben Bliss, who’s sung at the Metropolitan Opera, Seattle Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Boston Lyric Opera, Oper Frankfurt, and the Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona, among other venues, returns to the Festival to perform this evocative work.
Richard Strauss’s Le bourgeois gentilhomme suite premiered in Vienna on January 31, 1920, and features incidental music Strauss wrote for various stagings (between 1912 and 1918) of Molière's 1670 play of the same name. The suite captures the wit and charm of the original play, thanks in part to its neoclassical styling and, in some of its movements, the incorporation of music from the original score by Jean-Baptiste Lully.
Don't miss Sarah Chang's Special Event Recital on August 15.