The masterful maestro Jaap van Zweden takes on the full range of human experience, from the devastating intensity of Shostakovich to the unbridled exuberance of Beethoven's triumphant Eroica Symphony.
Lawn screen will be in use during this performance.
NEW YORK PHILHARMONIC
JAAP VAN ZWEDEN, CONDUCTOR
SHOSTAKOVICH: Chamber Symphony, Op. 110a
BEETHOVEN: Symphony No. 3 Eroica
SHOSTAKOVICH: Chamber Symphony, Op. 110a
Chamber Symphony for Strings in C minor, Op. 110a (after String Quartet No. 8, Op. 110) (1960; arr. 1967) (Arranged by Rudolf Barshai)
DMITRI SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975)
In July 1960, Shostakovich was in Dresden composing the score for a joint Soviet–East German film about the Second World War called Five Days, Five Nights. So moved was he by the subject of the story and by the still-unhealed scars of the city, which the Allies had reduced to rubble in 1945 in a single night of the most fearsome bombing in the history of warfare, that he poured his feelings into the musical form that he had entrusted with his most personal thoughts — the string quartet. The Eighth Quartet was composed in three days in Dresden and dedicated to “the memory of the victims of fascism and the war.” It was premiered on October 2nd in Leningrad by the Beethoven Quartet, though the composer had to miss the performance because he was hospitalized to treat a broken leg he had suffered in September at the wedding of his son, Maxim.
In Testimony, Shostakovich’s purported memoirs, the composer stated that the Eighth is “an autobiographical quartet.” Without giving elucidating details, he implied that its essential message is carried by the title of a well-known song of the Russian Revolution that he quoted in the fourth movement: Exhausted by the Hardships of Prison. The chief motive running through the Quartet, and providing the germ for much of its thematic material, is Shostakovich’s musical “signature” — DSCH, the notes D–E-flat– C–B. (The note D represents his initial. In German transliteration, the composer’s name begins “Sch”: S [ess] in German notation equals E-flat, C is C, and H equals B-natural.)
The Quartet is in five continuous movements. The DSCH motive is heard immediately in imitation in the somber opening of the first movement. Three other themes provide contrast: a quotation in dotted rhythms from the First Symphony; an eerie descending chromatic scale; and a reminiscence of the Fifth Symphony. The four thematic elements are recapitulated and lead without pause to a furious toccata, brutal, hammering music depicting the destruction of war. The third movement is a scherzo, by turns sardonic and lyrical. The slow fourth movement explodes with an accompaniment figure transmogrified into gunshots. The three lower voices in unison play a melody from the Eleventh Symphony (“The Year 1905”) of 1957. After a repetition of the gunshots, the Russian song Exhausted by the Hardships of Prison is intoned by the first violins. The gunshots, the Russian Revolutionary song, and the Eleventh Symphony motive in condensed versions serve as the movement’s coda. The finale eschews Romantic apotheosis in favor of 20th-century doubt. The austere mood and the DSCH theme of the first movement return, and the music seems hardly able to maintain its forward motion. Its energy dissipated, perhaps through catharsis or just from weariness, the music dies away on an inconclusive, open-interval harmony.
BEETHOVEN Symphony No. 3 Eroica
Symphony No. 3 in E-flat major, Op. 55, “Eroica” (1803-1804)
LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN (1770-1827)
The “Eroica” (“Heroic”) is a work that changed the course of musical history. There was much sentiment at the turn of the 19th century that the expressive and technical possibilities of the symphonic genre had been exhausted by Haydn, Mozart, C.P.E. Bach and their contemporaries. It was Beethoven, and specifically this majestic Symphony, that threw wide the gates on the unprecedented artistic vistas that were to be explored for the rest of the 19th century. For the first time, with this music, the master composer was recognized as an individual responding to a higher calling. After Beethoven, composers came to be regarded as visionaries — special beings lifted above mundane experience — who could guide benighted listeners to loftier planes of existence through their valued gifts. The modern conception of the Artist — what they are, their place in society, what they can do for those who experience their work — stems from Beethoven. Romanticism began with the “Eroica.”
The vast first movement opens with a summons of two mighty chords. At least four thematic ideas are presented in the exposition. The development is a massive essay progressing through many moods, all united by a sense of titanic struggle. It is in this central portion of the movement and in the lengthy coda that Beethoven broke through the boundaries of the 18th-century symphony to create a work not only longer in duration but also more profound in meaning. The beginning of the Marcia funebre (“Funeral March”), with its plaintive themes intoned over a mock drum-roll in the basses, is the touchstone for the expression of tragedy in instrumental music. A development-like section, full of remarkable contrapuntal complexities, is followed by a return of the opening threnody. The third movement is a lusty Scherzo; the central section is a rousing trio for horns. The Finale is a large set of variations on two themes, the first of which provides the bass line for the other. The second theme, introduced by the oboe, also appears in Beethoven’s ballet The Creatures of Prometheus, Contradanse No. 7 and Variations and Fugue, Op. 35. The variations accumulate energy, and, just as it seems the movement is whirling toward its final climax, the music comes to a full stop before launching into an Andante section that explores first the tender and then the majestic possibilities of the themes. A brilliant Presto led by the horns concludes this epochal work.
Jaap van Zweden is the music director for the New York Philharmonic.
Conductor Jaap van Zweden has become an international presence on three continents over the past decade. The 2018-19 season marks his first as the 26th Music Director of the New York Philharmonic. He continues as Music Director of the Hong Kong Philharmonic, a post he has held since 2012. Guest engagements this season include the Leipzig Gewandhausorchester, Amsterdam’s Royal Concertgebouw, Munich Philharmonic, Orchestre de Paris, San Francisco Symphony, and Dallas Symphony Orchestra where he is Conductor Laureate.
He has appeared as guest conductor with many other leading orchestras around the globe, among them the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Cleveland Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Vienna and Berlin Philharmonics, Orchestre national de France, and London Symphony Orchestra.
In his inaugural season as Music Director of the New York Philharmonic, Jaap van Zweden conducts repertoire ranging from five World Premieres to symphonic cornerstones. He also presides over three major season pillars that contextualize music through a variety of programs complemented by citywide collaborations. Music of Conscience explores composers’ responses to the social issues of their time, with music by Beethoven, Shostakovich, John Corigliano, and David Lang. New York Stories: Threads of Our City looks at musical expressions of the immigrant experience in New York, with music by Julia Wolfe. The Art of Andriessen spotlights the music of Dutch composer Louis Andriessen. Maestro van Zweden also welcomes New Yorkers to Phil the Hall — special concerts for the community — and to the Annual Free Memorial Day Concert, as well as the Concerts in the Parks.
Jaap van Zweden has made numerous acclaimed recordings, the most recent of which are live New York Philharmonic performances of Beethoven Symphonies Nos. 5 and 7 released on CD and for streaming and download in February 2018; this release launches the Philharmonic’s partnership with Decca Gold, Universal Music Group’s newly established U.S. classical music label. In 2018 with the Hong Kong Philharmonic, he completed a four-year project conducting the first-ever performances in Hong Kong of Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen, which have been recorded and released on Naxos Records. His highly praised performances of Lohengrin, Die Meistersinger and Parsifal, the latter of which earned Maestro van Zweden the prestigious Edison award for Best Opera Recording in 2012, are available on CD/DVD.
The Amsterdam-born van Zweden was appointed at age nineteen as the youngest concertmaster ever of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra and began his conducting career nearly twenty years later in 1996. He remains Honorary Chief Conductor of the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic, where he served as Chief Conductor from 2005-2013. He also held the Chief Conductor post of the Royal Flanders Orchestra from 2008-11. Van Zweden was named Musical America's 2012 Conductor of the Year in recognition of his critically acclaimed work as Music Director of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra and as guest conductor with the most prestigious US orchestras.
In 1997, Jaap van Zweden and his wife Aaltje established the Papageno Foundation, the objective being to support families of children with autism. Now, 20 years later, the Foundation has grown into a multi-faceted organization which, through various initiatives and activities, focuses on the development of children and young adults with autism. These initiatives include: providing music therapy to children in their own homes via a national network in The Netherlands of qualified music therapists; opening the Papageno House, in August 2015 with Her Majesty Queen Maxima in attendance, for young adults with autism to live, to work and to participate in the community; creating a research center at the Papageno House for early diagnosis and treatment of autism and for analyzing the effects of music therapy on autism; developing funding opportunities to support autism programs; and most recently launching a new app, TEAMPapageno, which allows children with autism to communicate with each other through music composition.
Photo: Bert Hulselmans
Sunday, July 20 | 6:00PM
The "ferociously talented" (Time Out New York) Conrad Tao makes his Vail debut with Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 2, combining elegant charm and youthful vitality. Nearly 20 years in the making, the Symphony No. 1 by Brahms is dizzying, complex, and truly transcendent.
Friday, July 19 | 6:00PM
Augustin Hadelich—longtime Bravo favorite—brings his brilliant warmth to Britten's profoundly emotional concerto, followed by the sumptuous second symphony by Rachmaninoff.
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Where are the orchestra concert performances held?
Bravo! Vail orchestral concerts take place at Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater (GRFA) located at 530 S. Frontage Rd E Vail, CO 81657
What time do performances begin?
Concerts start promptly at 6:00PM (except for the movie screening which starts at 7:30PM). The GRFA lobby opens 90 minutes prior and gates open 60 minutes prior to performances. Give yourself plenty of time to park and get into the venue. Latecomers will be escorted by ushers at an appropriate interval.
Where do I park?
FREE concert parking is available at the Vail Parking Structure (241 South Frontage Road East, Vail) and the Lionshead Parking Structure (395 South Frontage Road West, Vail). A Town of Vail Special Event express bus provides continuous service from both parking structures to the GRFA before and after concerts. Limited $10 parking is available at Ford Park by the Tennis Center (500 South Frontage Rd). Additional $10 parking is available at the Vail Athletic/Soccer Field lot.
WALKING DIRECTIONS FROM THE VAIL VILLAGE PARKING STRUCTURE:
Via Gore Creek Trail: 15-minute scenic walk
1. Exit the parking garage by following the Pedestrian Exit signs towards “Vail Village” / “Golden Peak”
2. Turn left out of the parking garage onto East Meadow Drive and head east
3. At the end of the road turn right on Vail Valley Drive and cross the road
4. Turn left on the walking path before the bridge, following the street signs towards "Ford Park"
5. Continuing east, follow the walking path along Gore Creek until reaching the GRFA
Via Frontage Road: 15-minute walk
1. From the top level of the parking garage, exit onto the South Frontage Road
2. Turn right and follow the sidewalk east along the south side of the frontage road
3. Cross East Meadow Drive and continue east along the sidewalk
4. Turn right after passing The Wren at Vail on the right
5. Continue down the path down to the GRFA
How long do concerts last?
Concerts generally last 2 hours including intermission. Please call the box office 877.812.5700 for exact running times.
How do I buy tickets?
Tickets, passes, and gift certificates may be ordered in the following ways:
1. Online: bravovail.org
2. By phone: 877.812.5700
3. In person: Bravo! Vail 2271 N Frontage Rd W Suite C, Vail, CO 81657
Bravo! Vail accepts American Express, Visa, MasterCard, and Discover credit cards, cash, and checks. There is a $2 fee per ticket. Tickets are delivered by mail or email,or may be picked up at the Box Office.
What are the Box Office hours?
Bravo! Vail Box Office hours are Monday-Friday from 9AM to 4PM. During the Festival, hours include Saturday & Sunday from 10AM to 4PM. The Bravo! Vail Box Office can be reached at 877.812.5700.
The Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater box office is open from 11AM until concert start time (5PM on days with no concerts) during the Festival. Tickets for upcoming performances may be purchased on-site at the GRFA before concerts and during intermission.
Where is the Will Call window?
Will Call tickets may be picked up at the Box Office located to the right of the main GRFA entrance lobby. The Box Office is open 11AM to concert start time during the Festival.
Does Bravo! Vail offer group pricing?
Discounts for groups of 15 or more are available for select concerts. Please call 970.827.4316 for more information.
What if I buy tickets and cannot attend?
Tickets are non-refundable and non-exchangeable. You may release your tickets or leave them for a friend at Will Call by calling the Box Office.
What if I misplace or forget to bring my tickets?
There is no charge to reprint tickets. Please call 877.812.5700 before 3PM on the day of the performance or allow extra time to request new tickets at the Will Call window.
Where are seating options for people with disabilities?
Per the American Disability Act (ADA), the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater is accessible to individuals with disabilities. ADA seating is available in Section 1 Row L and Section 4 Row O in all reserved seating zones and prices (Premium Aisle, Premium, Reserved, and Saver). A limited number of ADA General Admission Lawn seats are available for sale behind Section 2. You must have a designated ADA lawn seat ticket to sit in this area. By purchasing an ADA seat, you are stating that you require an ADA seat. If purchased fraudulently, you may be subject to relocation. If you need assistance purchasing ADA seating, please call the Box Office at 877.812.5700.
What if it rains?
Concerts take place rain or shine. The GRFA is an open-air venue. Refunds are not given due to weather unless a concert is canceled in its entirety with no performance rescheduled.
What should I wear?
There is no dress code for concerts. Please be prepared for rain and cooler temperatures.
What should I bring to the concert?
If you will be on the lawn, a blanket, sunglasses, and a hat are recommended. If rain is predicted, please bring appropriate rain gear. Food, commercially sealed non-alcoholic beverages, low-profile lawn chairs, and umbrellas are permitted at concerts. All backpacks, bags, purses, picnic baskets, and coolers will be checked upon entry.
The following articles are not allowed at the venue: cameras, audio/video recording devices, standard-height lawn chairs, baby strollers, alcoholic beverages, firearms, pets, smoking, skateboards, bicycles, scooters, and skates.
What food and beverages are available for purchase at the GRFA?
Concessions are offered for purchase inside the venue. Menu items include snacks, burgers, sandwiches, and salads. A full bar is also available. All major credit cards and cash are accepted for payment. If you have a pavilion seat, please eat prior to the concert or at intermission.
Are lawn chairs available to rent?
Low-profile lawn chairs are available at the GRFA to rent for $10. You may also rent a lawn chair with your lawn ticket purchase online or by calling the Bravo! Vail Box Office at 877.812.5700. To reserve a lawn chair in advance, please email email@example.com
What are some general rules of concert etiquette?
Please allow time for parking and seating. Concert attendees must silence all mobile devices prior to performances to not disrupt musicians and other patrons. Please limit conversations and other noisy activities during the performance. In the pavilion seating, we recommend eating prior to the concert or at intermission. Parental supervision is required for all children attending Bravo! Vail concerts.
What else should I know?
Vail’s high elevation requires adequate hydration and sun protection. Visitors from lower elevations may experience altitude sickness.
What if I lose something at the concert?
Check with the GRFA box office for lost items at intermission or call 970.748.8497.
What if I still have questions?
Please contact the Box Office at 877.812.5700 Mon–Fri 9AM–4PM (and Sat–Sun 10AM-4PM during the Festival).