Vilar Performing Arts Center, Beaver Creek
Mon-Fri, 9am-4pm For Assistance
Anne-Marie McDermott, piano
Jean-Efflam Bavouzet, piano
DEBUSSY Trois Nocturnes
RAVEL La Valse
GERSHWIN An American in Paris
One of the world’s foremost Debussy interpreters, Jean-Efflam Bavouzet has taken this inventive ballet score, featuring a playfully erotic and harmonically complex game of tennis, and created a two-piano transcription astounding for its colorful, audacious interplay.
GERSHWIN: An American in Paris
An American in Paris (20 minutes)
In the 18th and 19th centuries, few music-lovers had the opportunities to hear orchestras or attend operas that we do today. Recordings and radio didn’t exist, and travel to major musical centers could be slow and inconvenient. But people still had access to orchestral music in their own homes as long as they or their friends could play it on the piano in the parlor. There was a huge market for piano reductions, which were often issued right after an orchestral piece was published. As symphonic works grew more elaborate, the arrangements might require two players to do justice to the piece, leading to an upsurge of transcriptions for piano four-hands (two pianists seated at the same instrument) or, for more opulent settings, piano duo (two pianists at two pianos). The best transcriptions were those that made the music sound native to its new setting. As the art of the transcription developed, composers might adapt in both directions, arranging symphonic scores for whichever piano setting, or upscaling their piano works for orchestral forces. In this concert we hear two orchestral works by Debussy recast for piano duo by modern pianists (Jean-Efflam Bavouzet and the late Zoltán Kocsis), Ravel’s own two-piano version of one of his most popular orchestral works, and the original two-piano setting of a Gershwin tone poem that would become a classic when he orchestrated it.
DEBUSSY/BAVOUZET: Jeux: Poème dansé
Jeux: Poème dansé (1912-13)
CLAUDE DEBUSSY (1862-1918), transcribed by JEAN-EFFLAM BAVOUZET
Claude Debussy composed Jeux (Games), his last completed orchestral work, for impresario Serge Diaghilev, whose Ballets Russes launched in Paris in 1909. Its concept was expounded by dancer Vaslav Nijinsky over lunch with Diaghilev and designer Léon Bakst at the Savoy Hotel in London, with notes being jotted on the tablecloth: no corps de ballet, no ensembles, no variations, a game of tennis, a plane crash, “three young men making love to each other,” and an escape into the dark. In the end, the plane crash was eliminated and the young men Nijinsky imagined were turned into one man and two women, which was still enough to inspire outrage. Nijinsky fell out of love with the project, but Debussy warmed to it, producing his score with uncharacteristic speed in about three weeks in 1913. He hated Nijinsky’s choreography and was glad to be rid of the ballet, which was poorly received. While the performance was underway on opening night, he left his box to smoke a cigarette outside.
CLAUDE DEBUSSY (1862-1918), transcribed by ZOLTÁN KOCSIS
Claude Debussy’s first orchestral work following his groundbreaking Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun, Nocturnes is set of three distinct tone poems depicting Nuages (Clouds), Fêtes (Festivals), and Sirènes (Sirens, creatures of Greek mythology —half bird, half woman—whose songs could lure sailors to their deaths). Debussy’s language is instantly recognizable here, whether in the hazy impressionism of Nuages, the bright-hued animation of Fêtes, or the ceaseless undulation of Sirènes, in which the composer extravagantly employed a women’s choir to push seductive mystery to its limit. “The title Nocturnes,” wrote Debussy, “is to be interpreted here in a general and, more particularly, in a decorative sense. Therefore, it is not meant to designate the usual form of the Nocturne, but rather all the various impressions and the special effects of light that the word suggests.” Recasting those “impressions” as keyboard music required intimate knowledge of the piano’s capacities, which Zoltán Kocsis achieved to splendid effect in his transcription, much as Bavouzet did in his rendering of Jeux.
RAVEL: La valse
La valse (1919-20)
MAURICE RAVEL (1875-1937)
An adept pianist who always composed at the keyboard, Maurice Ravel was also a brilliant orchestrator who created meticulous symphonic textures. The keyboard and the orchestra exerted roughly equal pull on him, such that he made parallel piano and orchestral versions of nearly half his compositions. He wrote La valse as a symphonic score, but it was premiered in the two-piano version he prepared almost simultaneously, with Ravel and Alfredo Casella unveiling it at a 1920 concert of Arnold Schoenberg’s Society for Private Musical Performances in Vienna seven weeks before the orchestral original was premiered in Paris. He also made an arrangement for solo piano at about the same time. As early as 1906, Ravel started thinking about creating a musical tribute to Johann Strauss II, intending to title it Wien (Vienna). After World War I came and went, the gaiety of the Viennese ballroom could no longer be presented without knowing comment, and the piece turned into a sort of danse macabre with a sinister, fatalistic ending.
Pianist and Bravo! Vail Artistic Director Anne-Marie McDermott is a consummate artist who balances a versatile career as a soloist and collaborator. She performs over 100 concerts a year in a combination of solo recitals, concerti, and chamber music.
Jean-Efflam Bavouzet (piano), a native of France, regularly performs with such orchestras as the Cleveland Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, London Philharmonic, BBC Symphony, and NHK Symphony.
Pianist Anne-Marie McDermott is a consummate artist who balances a versatile career as a soloist and collaborator. She performs over 100 concerts a year in a combination of solo recitals, concerti and chamber music. Her repertoire choices are eclectic, spanning from Bach and Haydn to Prokofiev and Scriabin to Kernis, Hartke, Tower and Wuorinen.
With over 50 concerti in her repertoire, Ms. McDermott has performed with many leading orchestras including the New York Philharmonic, Minnesota Orchestra, Dallas Symphony, Columbus Symphony, Seattle Symphony, National Symphony, Houston Symphony, Colorado Symphony, Pittsburgh Symphony, St. Louis Symphony, Atlanta Symphony, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Moscow Virtuosi, Hong Kong Philharmonic, San Diego Symphony, New Jersey Symphony and Baltimore Symphony among others. Ms. McDermott has toured with the Australian Chamber Orchestra and the Moscow Virtuosi.
In the recent seasons, Ms. McDermott performed with the Philadelphia Orchestra, Buffalo Philharmonic, North Carolina Symphony, Charlotte Symphony, Huntsville Symphony, Alabama Symphony, San Diego Symphony, the Oregon Mozart Players, and the New Century Chamber Orchestra.
Recital engagements have included the 92nd Street Y, Alice Tully Hall, Town Hall, The Schubert Club, Kennedy Center, as well as universities across the country. Anne-Marie McDermott has curated and performed in a number of intense projects including: the Complete Prokofiev Piano Sonatas and Chamber Music, a Three Concert Series of Shostakovich Chamber Music, as well as a recital series of Haydn and Beethoven Piano Sonatas. Most recently, she commissioned works of Charles Wuorinen and Clarice Assad which were premiered in May 2009 at Town Hall, in conjunction with Bach’s Goldberg Variations.
As a soloist, Ms. McDermott has recorded the complete Prokofiev Piano Sonatas, Bach English Suites and Partitas (which was named Gramophone Magazine’s Editor’s Choice), and most recently, Gershwin Complete Works for Piano and Orchestra with the Dallas Symphony and Justin Brown.
In addition to her many achievements and association with Bravo! Vail, McDermott is also Artistic Director of two other festivals; The Ocean Reef Chamber Music Festival in the Florida Keys and The Avila Chamber Music Celebration in Curaçao, off the coast of Venezuela.
As a chamber music performer, Anne-Marie McDermott was named an artist member of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center in 1995 and performs and tours extensively with them each season. She also continues a long standing collaboration with the highly acclaimed violinist, Nadja Salerno Sonnenberg. As a duo, they have released a CD titled “Live” on the NSS label and plan to release the Complete Brahms Violin and Piano Sonatas in the future. Ms. McDermott is also a member of the renowned piano quartet, Opus One, with colleagues Ida Kavafian, Steven Tenenbom and Peter Wiley.
She continues to perform each season with her sisters, Maureen McDermott and Kerry McDermott in the McDermott Trio. Ms. McDermott has also released an all Schumann CD with violist, Paul Neubauer, as well as the Complete Chamber Music of Debussy with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center.
Ms. McDermott studied at the Manhattan School of Music with Dalmo Carra, Constance Keene and John Browning. She was a winner of the Young Concert Artists auditions and was awarded an Avery Fisher Career Grant.
In addition to her duties at Bravo! Vail, Anne-Marie McDermott regularly performs at Festivals across the United States including Spoleto, Mainly Mozart, Sante Fe, La Jolla Summerfest, Mostly Mozart, Newport, Caramoor, Chamber Music Northwest, Aspen, Music from Angelfire, and the Festival Casals in Puerto Rico, among others.
Photo: Zach Mahone
Jean-Efflam Bavouzet (piano), a native of France, regularly performs with such orchestras as the Cleveland Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, London Philharmonic, BBC Symphony, and NHK Symphony. His continuing collaboration with Manchester Camerata recently included an extensive tour of China. He appeared at Carnegie Hall as part of a major North American tour with the London Philharmonic under Vladimir Jurowski. He has given recitals at the Louvre, Wigmore Hall, and the Verbier Festival. The pianist records exclusively for Chandos, and his recordings have garnered Gramophone Awards, BBC Music Magazine Awards, a Diapason d’Or and Choc de l’année.
Where are the chamber music series performances held?
Bravo! Vail Chamber Music Series concerts at held at Donovan Pavilion, located at 1600 S Frontage Rd W, Vail, CO 81657.
What time do performances begin?
Concerts start promptly at 6:00PM. Doors open 30 minutes prior. Give yourself plenty of time to park and get to the venue. Latecomers will be escorted to seats by ushers at an appropriate interval.
Where do I park for Chamber Music Series performances?
Free parking is available at Donovan Pavilion.
How long do concerts last?
Concerts generally last 90 minutes to 2 hours including a scheduled intermission.
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. There is a $2 fee per ticket. Tickets are delivered by mail or email, or may be picked up at Will Call.
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. Tickets are also sold at the Donovan Pavilion one hour prior to concert.
Where is the Will Call window?
Will Call tickets may be picked up one hour prior to the concert at the Box Office table located to the right of the entrance of Donovan Pavilion.
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?
While our standard policy is that tickets are non-refundable, we understand the necessity to be flexible in these unprecedented times. Should you need to change your plans to attend a concert this summer, we ask that you consider donating the value of your tickets to help support Bravo! Vail's ongoing mission of enriching people’s lives through the power of music. If you prefer a refund rather than donating the value of your tickets, please contact the box office.
If we are forced to cancel an event in its entirety, you will have the option to donate the value of your tickets to help support Bravo's mission, place the value of your tickets on account for future use, or receive a refund.
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 from the Box Office at the venue.
What is the seating plan?
Front-and-center premium seating section at Donovan Pavilion available. Space is limited. Contact the box office for details. All other seating for Chamber Music Series concerts is general admission. All sections are ADA (American Disability Act) accessible.
What food and beverages are available at the concert?
Food and beverages including beer and wine are available for purchase on the back patio prior to the concert and at intermission.
What should I wear?
There is no dress code for concerts.
What are some general rules of Chamber Series 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. We recommend eating prior to the concert or at intermission. Parental supervision is required for all children attending Bravo! Vail concerts.
What is the Donovan Pavilion Child Policy?
Chamber Music Series concerts are very intimate. We strongly recommend that parents bring children aged six or older who are able to sit quietly through the entire performance.
What if I lose something at the concert?
Call the Bravo! Vail Box Office 970.827.5700 or the Donovan Pavilion 970.477.3699.
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).
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