orchestral
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Livestream
Festival Orchestra: Slatkin Conducts Copland, Gershwin

July 21
4:00 pm
Free
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orchestral
02

Livestream
Festival Orchestra: Slatkin Conducts Copland, Gershwin

July 21
4:00 pm
Free

Add to calendar
01
07
06
06
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PROGRAM
03

COPLAND: El salón México
PROKOFIEV: Piano Concerto No. 3 in C major, op. 26
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ROUSE: The Infernal Machine from Phantasmata
BARBER: Adagio for Strings, op. 11
GERSHWIN: An American in Paris

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Tune in for a free broadcast, live from the Klein Music Tent. 

The Financial Times hailed him as “a pianist with a captivating personality,” Le Monde applauded his “magician’s fingers and soul of integrity.” Bruce Liu is the first Canadian to ever win a gold medal at the prestigious XVIII International Chopin Competition, and at 26 has already achieved rock star status in the classical music world. Hear him in Prokofiev’s high-voltage, virtuosic 3rd Piano Concerto, which the Chicago Daily Herald called “the most beautiful modern concerto for piano” at its American premiere in 1921. The last movement is especially dazzling, with pounding chords on the piano surrounded by blazing sounds from the orchestra.

The rest of the program showcases works by American composers. Copland named his catchy and infectious musical postcard El salón México for a charming Mexico City nightclub he visited in 1932 with fellow composer Carlos Chavez. The piece became an instant success both in Mexico and north of the border. Rouse’s The Infernal Machine was the result of the composer’s dream involving an enormous, eternally moving machine which grinds along and shoots off hellish sparks but ultimately has no purpose. In the midst of the changing gears, a snatch of late Beethoven bubbles to the surface with a quote from the Op. 130 String Quartet. Before its self-destruction, the machine lets off one more earsplitting, metallic gasp.

Samuel Barber’s moving Adagio for Strings is his most popular and frequently performed works. He originally composed it as the second movement of a string quartet. It’s likely that the piece owes its success to Barber’s life partner, opera composer Gian Carlo Menotti. Knowing that Barber had a potential hit on his hands, Menotti got the manuscript into the hands of Arturo Toscanani, who premiered it with the NBC Symphony Orchestra in 1938. More than an orchestral staple, this work has become a source of solace during times of national tragedy, including after JFK’s assassination, and following 9/11.

Concluding the concert is Gershwin’s jazzy depiction of his visit to Paris, complete with street noises and taxi horns brought back from that city for the work’s 1928 premiere.

Hear the extraordinary Bruce Liu in his Aspen debut in this varied and exhilarating program!

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