Aspen Music Fest ends with bang
August 14, 2008
ASPEN ” The Aspen Music Festival generally likes to end the summer with a bang, and this year’s closing may be the biggest bang of all.
The final concert of the year, on Sunday, Aug. 17, features Schoenberg’s Gurre-Lieder, performed by the Aspen Festival Orchestra, the Colorado Symphony Orchestra Chorus, the U.S. Army Chorus, and five vocal soloists.
Even before the festival season began nine weeks ago, the thought of “Gurre-Lieder” was enough to make David Zinman giddy. The Aspen Music Festival music director, who will conduct the massive production, has never done so before; because of its size, it is a rarity.
While Schoenberg is generally associated with cold, atonal music, “Gurre-Lieder,” based on the Danish legend of the king Valdemars and his romantic and mental troubles, is modeled after Wagner, and thus emotional and beautiful. Not to mention enormous. And the themes of the work, encompassing the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ, and the rebirth of the Earth, are as grand as the musical setting.
The concert begins at 4 p.m. in the Benedict Music Tent, or catch the 9:30 a.m. rehearsal.