Aspen Music Festival And School

Festival Orchestra: Rachmaninoff and Ravel, Inon Barnatan

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With special thanks to Lisa and Will Mesdag
4:00 PM MT
$90, $65, $45
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New! Tickets start at $45!

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ANNA CLYNE: This Midnight Hour
RAVEL: Piano Concerto in G major
RACHMANINOFF: Symphonic Dances, op. 45

The Evening Standard called him “a true poet of the keyboard: refined, searching, unfailingly communicative,” and the Philadelphia Inquirer recognized his “breathtaking charisma that comes from gorgeously turned-out technique, a masterly sense of color, and an expressiveness that can question, weep, or shout joy from the rooftops.” Inon Barnatan returns to Aspen for Ravel’s brilliant and jazzy Piano Concerto in G. Starting with a distinctive percussive whip crack, this lighthearted piece has a meltingly poignant and serene slow movement. It wasn’t easy to write, however. “That flowing phrase!” Ravel apparently commented. “How I worked over it bar by bar! It nearly killed me!” In the dash to the finish in the thrilling finale, you may imagine the piano is trying to outrace the orchestra.

A “final flicker?” That’s what Rachmaninoff called his last work, the Symphonic Dances. It’s more like musical fireworks. Rachmaninoff is at his best here, with ravishing melodies, vivid orchestration, stirring march-like rhythms, a haunting saxophone solo, a mysterious waltz, and a finale that brilliantly incorporates Russian Orthodox liturgical chants and the “Dies Irae” from the Mass for the Dead.

The concert opens with British composer Anna Clyne’s This Midnight Hour. Although inspired by two poems: "La Musica" by Juan Ramón Jiménez and "Harmonie du soir" by Charles Baudelaire, the composer said the piece isn’t intended to depict a specific narrative. One review said that “Clyne packs a lot of emotions into [the work’s] 12-minute length”, and another noted its cinematic style and traditional harmonies.

Revel in Ravel as played by one of the most probing and elegant piano artists of our time!

Tickets will remain on hold for 30 minutes.

Robert Spano, Music Director

Alan Fletcher, President and CEO