Don’t miss one of the greatest violinists of our time in this program of masterworks.
“When it comes to giving loving attention to canonical works…and transmitting that love to his listeners, Joshua Bell is unparalleled,” declared the Washington Post. With a career spanning more than thirty years as a soloist, chamber musician, recording artist, conductor, and director, Aspen alumnus Bell returns to Aspen for Polish composer Henryk Wieniawski’s most lyrical and popular work, the Second Violin Concerto. As a virtuoso violinist himself, Wieniawski knew how to write dazzling, showy passages; here he also delivers dramatic intensity, an exquisitely songlike slow movement, and a rousing gypsy finale.
The program opens with Prayer of St. Gregory by American composer Alan Hovhaness, a five-minute piece for trumpet and strings which creates an atmosphere of mystical calm. The concert concludes with Schumann’s First Symphony, composed in a manic burst of energy over only four days in 1842. Schumann’s friend Mendelssohn conducted the first performance of the work. Schumann may not have been entirely happy with the result, since he advised a later conductor to “try to infuse some longing for spring into the playing of your orchestra; this is what I felt when I wrote it.”