Aspen Music Festival And School

Listening List: If You Like Beethoven…

There's no shortage of wonderful Beethoven this summer--in all shapes and sizes. Here are some suggestions to help you pick which Beethoven might be right for you--plus some ideas for reaching out further.

If you like Beethoven Symphonies (and Who Doesn't?)

All simply musts, here they are:
Symphony No. 2 (Tuesday, August 4)
Symphony No. 4 (Friday, August 14)
Symphony No. 5 (Friday, August 21)
Symphony No. 6 (Wednesday, August 19)
Symphony No. 7 (Friday, July 3)

Symphony No. 9 (Sunday, August 23)


If you like Beethoven and Solo Piano 

Friday Overtures: Pre-Concert Chamber Music (July 3, 10, 17, 24, 31, August 7, 14, 21)
These 45-minute pre-concert chamber music concerts in Harris Concert Hall surveys the quintessential piano work of Robert Schumann. Pure joy for the lover of Romantic solo piano.

A Recital by Paul Lewis (Wednesday, July 8)
This acclaimed British pianist plays both Beethoven's "Moonlight" Sonata and the virtuosic "Diabelli" Variations.

A Recital by Andreas Haefliger (Wednesday, July 29)
Beethoven's monumental "Hammerklavier" Sonata on this program, from his late period, is considered one of the great piano sonatas of all time.

A Recital by Hung-Kuan Chen (Saturday, August 15)
This all-Beethoven program includes his piano sonatas numbers 30, 31, and 32. Beethoven was 50 when he composed his last three sonatas. Although completely deaf, he was at the height of his creative powers. These are among his most deeply personal works.

A Recital by John O’Conor (Thursday, August 20)
Beethoven's "Pathétique," "Moonlight" and "Appassionata" sonata in one evening. Need we say more?


If you like Beethoven and Chamber Music 

Special Event with Members of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra and AMFS Artist-Faculty (Tuesday, July 28)
Members of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra and the AMFS jointly perform an all-Beethoven program that includes Beethoven's Septet for Strings and Winds. 

Special Event with The Zukerman Trio (Wednesday, August 12)
There is Beethoven on this program but if you love that, you will just as much love the other two ingenius, Romantic trios: Mendelssohn's Piano Trio No. 1 in D minor and Brahms's Piano Trio No. 2 in C major.

A Recital by the Escher String Quartet (Saturday, July 18)
Beethoven's String Quartet in C major, op. 59, no. 3, “Razumovsky” will please, but so will Mendelssohn's String Quartet No. 1 in E-flat major, which he wrote for his secret love. 

A Recital by the Dover String Quartet and the Escher String Quartet (Saturday, July 11)
Mendelssohn was only sixteen when he wrote his Octet in E-flat major. It would be considered a masterpiece by a composer of any age, a work of remarkable maturity which has been delighting and amazing audiences since its premiere. 

A Recital by Arnaud Sussman, David Finckel, and Wu Han (Thursday, July 2)
A delightful program of piano trios by Haydn and his less-than-delightful student Beethoven. Compare the genius of two generations.


If You Like Beethoven and Strings

Recitals with James Ehnes and Andrew Armstrong (Tuesday, August 4 and Thursday, August 6)
Two programs surveying Beethoven's Violin Sonatas are pure Beethoven heaven.

Aspen Festival Orchestra with James Ehnes (Sunday, August 9)
After two recitals of Beethoven sonatas, the nuanced violinist Ehnes steps in front of the full orchestra to play Beethoven's iconic Violin Concerto as a capstone to his personal homage to Beethoven in 2020.

Aspen Chamber Symphony with Violinist Kristóf Baráti (Friday, July 3)
Composed for Mendelssohn’s close friend, the violinist Ferdinand David, Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto in E minor was from its inception intended to be tasteful and expressive rather than a vehicle for empty showmanship. David told his friend, “This is going to be something great! There is plenty of music for violin and orchestra, but there has only been one big, truly great concerto (Beethoven) and now there will be two!” “I am not competing with Beethoven,” Mendelssohn humbly replied.

Aspen Chamber Symphony with Violinist Gil Shaham (Friday, July 31)
Gil Shaham has called the lush, expansive Brahms Violin Concerto, one of the most challenging in the repertoire, “my desert island concerto.” 

Aspen Chamber Symphony with Sarah Chang and Zlatomir Fung (Friday, July 24) 
Two masters--both Aspen alumni--join for Brahms's Concerto for Violin and Cello in A minor, a Romantic masterpiece if there ever was one.

Aspen Chamber Symphony Beethoven Romance for Violin and Orchestra (Friday, July 10)
Don't miss Beethoven's Romance for Violin and Orchestra on this program--with an unmatched sweetness in the violin writing.

Robert Spano, Music Director

Alan Fletcher, President and CEO