Festival closes with Stravinsky, and more | AspenTimes.com

Festival closes with Stravinsky, and more

Stewart OksenhornAspen, CO Colorado

ASPEN No doubt there were plenty of listeners who wished that Stravinsky’s work had been replaced in the same fashion as Cavalli’s “Eliogabalo.” Probably even some programmers considered the possibility. Though recognized as probably the most influential composer of the 20th century, the Russian-born Stravinsky, who lived in Switzerland and France before settling in Los Angeles for the last 30-plus years of his life, wrote modernist music that rarely made listening an easy experience.The Aspen Music Festival’s final minifestival of the season, Stravinsky Rex, concludes with a pair of pieces from the earlier part of the 20th-century icon’s career. The Saturday, Aug. 11, chamber music concert features the Grand Suite from “L’histoire du soldat” (“The Soldier’s Tale”), a theatrical work based on a Russian folk tale. Stravinsky’s music for the piece is typical, with shifting time signatures. The following day, the Sinfonia, conducted by Peter Oundjian, performs the Scherzo fantastique, a 1907 piece linked to the style of fellow Russian composer Rimsky-Korsakov, but with hints of the Stravinsky to come.Additional highlights of the final week of the 2007 Music Festival include a Monday, Aug. 13, chamber music concert that features the world premiere of a piano quintet by Daniel Kellogg, as well as the Piano Quintet No. 2 by Aspen regular George Tsontakis.The Toronto-based Baroque orchestra and chamber choir Tafelmusik makes a pair of appearances. The Wednesday, Aug. 15, concert Metamorphosis: From Myth to Music features music inspired by the Ovid myth describing the creation and history of the world from an ancient Roman perspective. A recital the following night includes music by Bach, Handel and Vivaldi.The American String Quartet also performs Thursday, Aug. 16, with a program of works by Mendelssohn, Dvorák and Robert Sirota. The Aspen Chamber Symphony concert on Friday, Aug. 17, features conductor Murry Sidlin and a focus on Leonard Bernstein.Pianist Vladimir Feltsman appears in a special event on Saturday, Aug. 17, playing works by Schubert and Chopin.The festival concludes Sunday, Aug. 18, with more Stravinsky, as the Aspen Festival Orchestra, led by Aspen Music Festival Music Director David Zinman, performing his Symphony of Psalms. Winding up the program – and the season – is Orff’s “Carmina Burana,” with the Colorado Symphony Orchestra Choir and its director, Duain Wolfe.Stewart Oksenhorn’s e-mail address is stewart@aspentimes.com