Daniil Trifonov, whose stunning surprise debut electrified audiences last season, returns to Vail with Rachmaninoff's first piano concerto, the high-spirited heart of an enchanting program filled with mythological romance and fairy-tale charms.
THE PHILADELPHIA ORCHESTRA
JAMES GAFFIGAN, CONDUCTOR
DANIIL TRIFONOV, PIANO
SMETANA: Overture to The Bartered Bride
RACHMANINOFF: Piano Concerto No. 1
HUMPERDINCK: Selections from Hansel and Gretel
WAGNER: Overture to Tannhäuser
SMETANA: OVERTURE TO THE BARTERED BRIDE
Overture to The Bartered Bride (1863-1866)
BEDŘICH SMETANA (1824-1884)
The story of The Bartered Bride derives from the personalities, customs and lore of the Czech countryside. The lovers Hans and Marie are prevented from marrying by her father, who has secured a more lucrative nuptial arrangement from the village matchmaker, Kezal. Kezal has engaged Marie to the half-wit Wenzel, son of the second marriage of Micha, a wealthy landowner. Hans makes sure that the marriage contract specifies Marie must wed the son of Micha, and pockets the money that Kezal promised him for breaking his betrothal to Marie. Hans then reveals that he is also the son of Micha — by Micha’s first marriage — and claims Marie as his wife. Wenzel, his mind unhinged, appears in a bear costume, and has to be dragged away while the couple and the villagers celebrate the upcoming wedding.
The Overture’s boisterous opening melody represents the matchmaker Kezal, the vibrant dance strain accompanies the signing of the marriage contract, and a lyrical theme from the oboes is associated with Hans.
RACHMANINOFF: PIANO CONCERTO NO. 1
Piano Concerto No. 1 in F-sharp minor, Op. 1 (1890-1891)
SERGEI RACHMANINOFF (1873-1943)
While still a student at the Moscow Conservatory in 1890, Rachmaninoff began the Piano Concerto No. 1, completing the first movement quickly but not finishing the rest until the following year. He gave the premiere on a student concert at the Moscow Conservatory on March 17, 1892, but the Concerto enjoyed little success and he undertook its revision in October 1917 — just as the Russian Revolution erupted in the streets around his Moscow flat. “I sat at the writing table all day without troubling about the rattle of machine guns and rifle shots,” he noted in his diary. In December, he fled to Finland, supported himself for a year in Scandinavia by giving concerts, and settled in the United States in 1918. The opening movement, in traditional concerto form, is characterized by both Rachmaninoff’s characteristic melancholy and his virtuosic pianism. The brief Andante is rhapsodic in spirit and lyrical in style, with the soloist strewing sweeping arabesques upon the subdued orchestral accompaniment. The finale is aggressive and virtuosic, with a quiet center section to provide contrast.
HUMPERDINCK: SELECTIONS FROM HANSEL AND GRETEL
Selections from Orchestral Suite from Hansel and Gretel (1890-1893)
ENGELBERT HUMPERDINCK (1854-1921)
In the familiar story of Humperdinck’s opera, Hansel and his sister Gretel leave their family cottage to pick strawberries in the nearby woods. They become lost and must spend the night in the forest. When they awaken in the morning, the mists have lifted to reveal the toothsome gingerbread house of the Witch, who bakes little children in her oven. The children outsmart the Witch, however, and are reunited with their parents.
Humperdinck said that the opera’s Overture is “a sort of symphonic prologue, which might be called a description of childhood.”
The Witch’s Ride provides the prelude to Act II, just as Hansel and Gretel set off on their adventure into the forest.
In the Forest is the scene of the children in Act II wandering in the woods while Gretel entertains herself with a song about “a little man … with a little coat of pure red.”
The Crackle Waltz is the gleeful tune with which the witch announces, “Yes, little Gretel, soon you’ll be a little roast.”
The Pantomime that closes Act II depicts Hansel and Gretel at their bedtime prayers and the flight of fourteen angels who guard them through the night.
WAGNER: OVERTURE TO TANNHÄUSER
Overture to Tannhäuser (1843-1845)
RICHARD WAGNER (1813-1883)
Tannhäuser opens in a grotto in the Venusberg, a mountain where Venus, the goddess of love, is said by German legend to have taken refuge after the fall of ancient civilization. Tannhäuser has forsaken the world to enjoy her sensual pleasures, but after a year he longs to return home and find forgiveness. He invokes the name of the Virgin Mary, and the Venusberg is swallowed by darkness. Tannhäuser finds himself in a valley below Wartburg Castle, where he is passed by a band of pilgrims journeying to Rome. His friend Wolfram recognizes him, tells him how Elisabeth, his betrothed, has grieved during his absence, and invites him to the Wartburg to see her and to take part in a singing contest. Elisabeth is joyous at Tannhäuser’s return, and they reassure each other of their love. At the contest, however, Tannhäuser sings a rhapsody to Venus and the pleasures of carnal love that so enrages the assembled knights and ladies that Elisabeth must protect him from their threats of violence. Tannhäuser agrees to join the pilgrims to atone for his sins. Several months later, he returns from Rome, alone, haggard and in rags. He tells Wolfram that the Pope has said it is as impossible for someone who has dwelled in the Venusberg to be forgiven as for the Papal staff to sprout leaves. He considers going again to Venus, but withstands that temptation when Wolfram mentions Elisabeth’s name. Elisabeth, however, not knowing of Tannhäuser’s return and despairing of ever seeing her lover again, has died of grief. Her bier is carried past Tannhäuser, who kneels next to it, and also dies. As morning dawns, pilgrims from Rome arrive bearing the Pope’s staff, which has miraculously grown leaves.
The Overture to Tannhäuser encapsulates in musical terms the dramatic conflict between the sacred love of Elisabeth and the profane love of Venus.
Hailed for the natural ease of his conducting and the compelling insight of his musicianship, James Gaffigan continues to attract international attention and is one of the most outstanding American conductors working today.
DANIIL TRIFONOV, Piano
Russian pianist Daniil Trifonov has made a spectacular ascent in the world of classical music and is "without question the most astounding young pianist of our age" (London Times).
Hailed for the natural ease of his conducting and the compelling insight of his musicianship, James Gaffigan continues to attract international attention and is one of the most outstanding American conductors working today. James Gaffigan is currently the Chief Conductor of the Luzerner Sinfonieorchester. Since taking up this position, he has made a very significant impact on the Orchestra's profile both nationally and internationally with a number of highly successful tours and recordings. In recognition of this success, James’ contract has been further extended until 2022. He also holds positions as Principal Guest Conductor of the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra and he was appointed the first Principal Guest Conductor of the Gürzenich Orchestra, Cologne in September 2013, a position that was created for him.
In addition to these titled positions, James Gaffigan is in high demand working with leading Orchestras and opera houses throughout Europe, the United States and Asia. In recent seasons, James Gaffigan has also enjoyed guest engagements with the London, Dresden, Czech and Rotterdam Philharmonics, Wiener Symphoniker, Dresden Staatskapelle, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Konzerthaus Berlin, Zurich Tonhalle, Gothenburg, Tokyo Metropolitan and City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestras, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Leipzig, Berlin and Stuttgart Radio Orchestras. In the US, he has additionally worked with the Philadelphia Orchestra, St. Louis, Baltimore, Pittsburgh and National Symphony Orchestras. The 2015/16 season included concerts with the New York Philharmonic, Munich Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic and Dallas Symphony. In the 2016/17 season, James conducted the Cleveland Orchestra, Chicago, San Francisco, Toronto, Detroit, BBC, Bournemouth and Sydney Symphonies; the Oslo, Seoul and Los Angeles Philharmonics; in Paris he visited the Orchestre de Paris and Orchestre National de France, and he made his debut with the Salzburg Mozarteum Orchestra.
In opera, James Gaffigan has worked with the Wiener Staatsoper (La Boheme, Don Giovanni, Le Nozze di Figaro), Glyndebourne Festival (Così Fan Tutte, La Cenerentola, Falstaff), Norwegian Opera (La Traviata), Staatsoper Hamburg (Salome) and the Bayerische Staatsoper (Don Giovanni).
In the 2017/18 season James will appear with the Chicago Symphony, Dallas Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, Munich Philharmonic and the Concertgebouw Orchestra in addition to commitments with the Luzerner Sinfonieorchester and Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra. He will also make his debuts with both the Chicago Lyric Opera with a production of Così Fan Tutte , and with Santa Fe Opera in a production of Ariadne on Naxos. He will return to the Wiener Staatsoper for La Traviata. Further ahead James makes his debuts with both the Netherlands Opera and Metropolitan Opera.
James Gaffigan was a conducting fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center and was part of American Academy of Conducting at the Aspen Music Festival. In 2009, he completed a three-year tenure as Associate Conductor of the San Francisco Symphony in a position specially created for him by Michael Tilson Thomas. Prior to that appointment, he was the Assistant Conductor of the Cleveland Orchestra where he worked under Music Director Franz Welser Möst from 2003 through 2006. James Gaffigan was also named a first prize winner at the 2004 Sir Georg Solti International Conducting Competition.
DANIIL TRIFONOV, Piano
Russian pianist Daniil Trifonov launched his career by winning First Prize at both the Tchaikovsky and Rubinstein Competitions in 2011 at the age of 20. The 2016–17 season saw the release of Transcendental, a double album that represents Mr. Trifonov’s third title as an exclusive Deutsche Grammophon artist and marks the first time that Liszt’s complete concert études were recorded for the label. The winner of Gramophone’s 2016 Artist of the Year award, he played Tchaikovsky’s First Piano Concerto under Riccardo Muti in the gala finale of the Chicago Symphony’s 125th anniversary celebrations and, having scored his second Grammy nomination with Rachmaninoff Variations, performed Rachmaninoff for his Berlin Philharmonic debut at the orchestra’s New Year’s Eve concerts, aired live in cinemas throughout Europe. He also made debuts with the Melbourne and Sydney Symphony Orchestras, returned to the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, and headlined the Munich Philharmonic’s “Rachmaninoff Cycle” tour with Valery Gergiev. He played with the New York Philharmonic, The Cleveland and Philadelphia Orchestras, and Dresden Staatskapelle at home and at the Salzburg Easter Festival and BBC Proms. Other collaborations included Zurich’s Tonhalle, Rotterdam Philharmonic, Mahler Chamber, Houston Symphony, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, and La Scala orchestras. Also a composer, Mr. Trifonov reprised his own concerto in Kansas City. He made recital debuts at London’s Barbican and Melbourne’s Recital Centre; appeared in Berlin, Vienna, Florence, Madrid, Oslo, and Moscow; and returned to Philadelphia, Baltimore, and New York’s Carnegie Hall. This summer he returns to the Tanglewood, Verbier, Baden-Baden, and Salzburg festivals. Mr. Trifonov began his musical training at age five, and attended Moscow’s Gnessin School of Music and the Cleveland Institute of Music. Other honors include Third Prize in Warsaw’s Chopin Competition, First Prize in Tel Aviv’s Rubinstein Competition, both First Prize and Grand Prix in Moscow’s Tchaikovsky Competition, and the Franco Abbiati Prize for Best Instrumental Soloist. Daniil Trifonov made his New York Philharmonic debut in September–October 2012 performing Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 3, led by Music Director Alan Gilbert; most recently, in November 2016, he performed Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 25, led by Vladimir Jurowski. He joined the Board of the New York Philharmonic in 2015.
Photo: Dario Acosta
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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. You may exchange your tickets ($7 fee per ticket) by calling the Box Office at 877.812.5700 up to 2 days before the concert. 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).