$45 General Admission
Edwards Interfaith Chapel
Mon-Fri, 9am-4pm For Assistance
Adam Barnett-Hart, violin
Brendan Speltz, violin
Pierre LaPointe, viola
Brook Speltz, cello
Anne-Marie McDermott, piano
BARTÓK Selected Violin Duos
BARTÓK Piano Quintet
Providing context for the monumental quartets, Bartók’s youthful passion and ambition is already evident in his early Piano Quintet. Selections from the 44 Violin Duos explore the full range of both folk and classical traditions that shaped his distinctive voice.
Pre-Concert Talk at 6:00PM
Concert at 7:00PM
BARTÓK Violin Duos
Selections from 44 Violin Duos (1931)
Béla Bartók’s six string quartets, which stand at the heart of this season’s Immersive Experiences, thread through much of the composer’s career, from the First, in 1908-09, to the Sixth, in 1939. In this concert, however, we look to the side of the imposing succession of quartets to first consider Bartók’s imaginative contribution to pedagogical music and then to visit one of his earliest major pieces, which shows the stream of influences that would coalesce into his distinctive musical character.
Music-lovers most often encounter Bartók through his large-scale concert works, but many musicians meet him early on thanks to a large body of music he wrote primarily for teaching purposes. Student pianists may work through his For Children (85 pieces from 1908-10) or Mikrokosmos (153 movements composed from 1926 to 1939), and string players may turn to his 44 Violin Duos.
The Duos came about through a request from Erich Doflein, a German musicologist who was particularly interested in music pedagogy. In the 1930s, he and his wife, Elma, produced a series of instructional volumes for violin pupils. They wanted to go beyond predictable exercises for fingering and bowing. Instead, wrote Erich Doflein, “This is training, but not as on the athletic field—it is rather a journey through many lands of music, and the music of many lands.” They were also intent on making students comfortable with the vocabulary of contemporary music. To that end, they convinced notable living composers, including Hindemith, Orff, and Bartók, to write pieces they could intermix with Baroque and Classical pieces, placing everything in progressive order of difficulty. Bartók’s first submissions were quite challenging; they ended up being placed at the end of his Duos. Doflein kept urging him toward greater technical simplicity. “For a whole year,” he wrote, “we received further consignments of duos from Bartók, which gradually became simpler and easier until the first pieces of today’s cycle finally arrived.”
Bartók’s Duos were issued in an independent collection in 1933. Before he submitted them to his publisher, he asked his violinist-friend Zoltán Székely to help decide how to order the first five pieces. “Let us pretend we are two beginners,” he told Székely. “Hand me a violin and I assure you that I will sound like a beginner. But you, a professional, have to take a handicap …. Hold your violin with your right hand and bow it with your left. That little trick may put us on even terms.”
These miniatures—the longest run two minutes, the shortest thirty seconds—mostly draw on folk pieces from regions he had visited as an ethnomusicologist: Transylvania, Romania, Ukrainian Ruthenia, Slovakia, Serbia, and North Africa, in addition to Hungary. The early pieces in the set are relatively straightforward, but as the collection proceeds, the rhythms, articulation, and general playing technique pose increasing complication. Often the first violin hews closely to the folk material while the second violin sheds unexpected shadings of harmony and rhythm.
BARTÓK Piano Quintet, Sz. 23, BB 33
Piano Quintet in C major (1903-04)
Bartók showed unusual musical prowess as a child. He started piano lessons at five and by the age of ten was composing his first pieces, mostly dances for piano. In 1899 he entered the Budapest Academy of Music, where he was particularly lauded as a pianist. A review of one of his performances at that time predicted that, of all the Academy’s piano students, he was the most likely to follow in the tracks of Ernő Dohnányi, a recent graduate who was already making waves as a notable concert pianist.
Bartók’s composing took a back seat during his conservatory years, but a few months before his graduation his encounter with the music of Richard Strauss reinvigorated his creativity. He composed a Straussian orchestral tone poem, Kossuth (on a Hungarian historical topic), but in 1903-04 he mostly wrote music for his own use as a pianist, including the Piano Quintet. He completed it while staying at a resort in northern Hungary, where he hatched the plan to begin collecting folk songs—a passion that would lead to earning a doctorate in musicology (his dissertation was about the stanzaic structure of Hungarian folksong), carrying out extensive field-work in ethnomusicology, and absorbing a vocabulary that would leave a deep mark on his compositions.
The Piano Quintet displays touches of folkish influence. In the opening movement, some of the piano’s ornaments and scales suggest a cimbalom (a Hungarian hammered dulcimer) and a violin theme has a “Hungarian Gypsy” flavor, as do gestures in the slow third movement and the high-kicking csárdás spirit of the finale. Since Bartók had not quite yet plunged into folk research himself, these sounds probably came his way at least partly through such works as Liszt’s Hungarian Rhapsodies and Brahms’ Hungarian Dances. Brahms seem to hover over expanses of this work, certainly in the grandeur of the first movement’s main melody, but one also hears the influence of Strauss (in the lyrical writing of the Adagio, for example) and Dvořák (especially in a relaxed interlude of the Scherzo). The Bartók we meet in this piece is a young composer absorbing musical influences like a sponge.
Bartók played the piano in the work’s 1904 premiere as well as in a few later performances. He effected revisions in 1920 but never published it. The manuscript went missing and was assumed to be lost, but it resurfaced in 1963 and was finally edited and published in 1970, 35 years after its composer’s passing.
The Escher String Quartet, formed in 2005, comprise Adam Barnett-Hart and Brendan Speltz, violins, Pierre Lapointe, viola, and Brook Speltz, cello.
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.
The Escher String Quartet, formed in 2005, comprise Adam Barnett-Hart and Brendan Speltz, violins, Pierre Lapointe, viola, and Brook Speltz, cello. Members of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, they toured with that group to China. The Escher was invited by Pinchas Zukerman and Itzhak Perlman to be Quartet in Residence at each artist’s summer festival, and is now string quartet in residence at Southern Methodist University. For the BIS label the quartet has recorded the complete Mendelssohn quartets and quartets by Dvorák, Borodin, and Tchaikovsky, and recorded the Zemlinsky quartets for Naxos.
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
This three-evening journey opens with the odd-numbered quartets, which introduce Bartók’s signature explosive energy, incandescent chromaticism, and rollicking Bohemian brio.
Partners in life and in music for almost 40 years, this irrepressible power couple of the chamber music world has won international acclaim for their “eloquent and deeply committed performances” (New York Times) as well as “glamour and theatrical flair [and] superb musical insight” (Washington Post).
Where are Immersive Experiences concerts held?
For 2021, the Bravo! Vail Immersive Experiences are held at the Edwards Interfaith Chapel at 32138 Highway 6, Edwards, CO 81632.
Where do I park for the concerts?
Free parking is available onsite.
What time do the performances take place?
Optional Pre-Concert Talks begin at 6:00PM and concerts start promptly at 7:00PM. Doors open at 5:30PM. Please allow plenty of time to park and get to the venue. Latecomers will be escorted to seats by ushers at appropriate intervals.
How long do concerts last?
Pre-Concert Talks last approximately 45 minutes, the musical performances generally last 80-90 minutes with a scheduled 10-minute intermission.
How do I buy tickets?
Tickets may be purchased in the following ways:
1. Online at bravovail.org
2. By calling the box office 877.812.5700
3. Pending availability, in person at the entrance of the Edwards Interfaith Chapel starting at 5:00PM
What are Box Office hours?
Bravo! Vail Box Office hours are Monday-Friday from 9:00AM to 4:00PM. During the Festival, hours include Saturday & Sunday from 10:00AM to 4:00PM. The Bravo! Vail Box Office is located in West Vail at 2271 N Frontage Rd W, Vail CO 81657 and can be reached at 877.812.5700. Space permitting, tickets will also be sold at the entrance of the Edwards Interfaith Chapel starting at 5:00PM.
Where is the Will Call window?
Will Call tickets may be picked up before the concert at the door of the Edwards Interfaith Chapel starting at 5:00PM.
Does Bravo! Vail offer group pricing?
Due to limited audience capacity this summer, we are not offering discounts for groups.
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 can I expect in terms of health and safety protocols?
As permitted by current State of Colorado and Eagle County guidelines, the Bravo! Vail Music Festival is operating at up to 100 percent capacity, without any social distancing or mask requirements. If you are not comfortable with this approach, although we will miss your presence, we ask that you consider not attending at this time.
Face coverings at Edwards Interfaith Chapel will be optional. All individuals, whether they choose to wear a face covering or not, will be welcomed and respected.
Capacity at performance venues will be at or near 100 percent with no social distancing requirements.
Will I be required to complete a waiver to attend concerts and events this summer?
All ticket reservations are subject to our 2021 Ticket Purchase Terms, available HERE. These terms include important waivers, releases, and limitations on liability. By reserving a ticket, you agree to the Ticket Purchase Terms.
What if I misplace or forget to bring my tickets?
Call the Box Office before 3:00PM the day of the concert to reprint your tickets. Starting at 5:00PM, Box Office staff can also reprint tickets at the entrance of the Edwards Interfaith Chapel.
What is the seating plan?
Seating for Immersive Experiences is general admission.
Are food and beverages available at the concert?
Concessions will be open starting with the doors at 5:30PM. They will remain open through concert start, and then again at intermission. Concessions offered include bar service and snacks.
What should I wear?
There is no dress code for concerts.
What are some general rules of Immersive Experiences concert etiquette?
Please allow ample time for parking and seating. Concert attendees must silence all mobile devices prior to performances to avoid disrupting 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.
Any forms of audio or video recording (mobile phone, camera, video camera, iPad) are prohibited at these events.
Photographing performances (with no flash) is permitted during concerts, only if there is no disruption/distraction to fellow audience members or performers.
What is the Immersive Experiences child policy?
Bravo! Vail’s small ensemble concerts are very intimate. We strongly recommend 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 Bravo! Vail Box Office at 970.827.5700 or the Edwards Interfaith Chapel staff at 970.926.3388.
What if I still have questions?
Please contact the Box Office at 877.812.5700 Mon–Fri 9:00AM–4:00PM (and Sat–Sun 10:00AM-4:00PM during the Festival).
Stay up to date on all of the latest news and events from Bravo! Vail.