The Breckenridge Music Festival concludes its summer season Saturday with a concert featuring Verdi's "Overture to Nabucco," Debussy's "Printemps," Enescu's "Roumanian Rhapsody No. 1" and Robin Sutherland performing Mozart's beloved Concerto for Piano No. 24. The Festival Finale concert begins with a dramatic rendition of Verdi's "Overture to Nabucco." Beyond his stature as heir to the great traditions of Italian opera, Giuseppe Verdi also inherited the responsibility for the entire future of serious music in Italy. Expectations ran high from every quarter of his public life, in stark contrast to his deeply private nature, which found fruition with his devoted longtime companion and second wife, the soprano Giuseppina Strepponi. The program will also feature BMF guest artist and pianist of the San Francisco Symphony, Robin Sutherland, performing the Mozart Piano Concert No. 24 in C Minor, K. 491. Mozart wrote most of his 27 piano concertos for his own use at concerts; consequently, they reflect the superb pianistic virtuosity for which he was noted during his lifetime. Taken together, these works, in terms of technical refinement, depth of expression and overall sheer inspiration, constitute Mozart's most remarkable series of compositions in any single musical genre. Debussy's "Printemps," composed in 1887 and originally written for wordless chorus and orchestra, was said to have been inspired by Botticelli's famous painting of the same name. When describing this piece, Debussy said: "... I wanted to express the slow, laborious birth of beings and things in nature, then the mounting florescence, and finally a burst of joy at being reborn to a new life. I'm sure you see how powerful and evocative the music needs to be." Several years later, the full score of "Printemps" was destroyed in a fire, leaving only Debussy's reduction of the work for chorus and piano duet. In 1913, the composer and conductor Henri Busser, working under the close supervision of Debussy, prepared a new version of the piece, retaining the parts for the two pianos, but dispensed with the chorus altogether, reassigning the vocal parts to the orchestra. The Festival Finale closes its 2012 season with Enescu's "Roumanian Rhapsody No. 1" in A Major, Op. 11. One of the most versatile musicians of this past century, George Enescu was active throughout most of his life as a violinist, teacher, conductor, cellist, pianist, organist and composer. It is the last of these, however, that he is best-known today. As a composer, his early works reflected the influence of Brahms and Wagner but, by the 1930s, he had developed a style that was more individual.
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