The Spirit of the Rockies by The Kruger Brothers
Saturday, August 25, 2012 - 9:00 p.m.
Eric Harvie Theatre
$25 | Child $20
Arts Lover Passholder Event
Kruger Brothers 2012
This special concert with The Kruger Brothers has been moved indoors to the Eric Harvie Theatre.
In 2011, Jens Kruger was invited to create a work for The Banff Centre, a commission that recognises his ability as a composer, arranger, and performer, but also of his unique ability to combine seemingly disparate cultural and musical traditions within his work. Most recently, he premiered his Appalachian Concerto, a work for banjo, bass, guitar and string quartet. There he used the form of the concerto to draw musical comparisons between the music of Europe and the traditional music of the Appalachian region as well as the cultural history of that region. It was that work, perhaps more than any other, that brought him to the attention of The Banff Centre.
Kruger has responded with a piece that unites the social and ecological concepts that he finds in the Canadian Rockies. Titled “The Spirit of the Rockies,” Kruger takes as his theme the awareness of beauty within the region, something that, at times in the past, may not have been as obvious as it is to us today. As Jens has said, “for the English,” who were the first European population to settle the region, “the wilderness was something to be conquered.” Trade routes, rather than ski trails, was what they were after.
Later, at the turn of the last century, new settlers came with a very different perspective, that of an appreciation of the uniqueness and delicacy of the environment, a perspective that was embodied in the Swiss guides who were the first to open the region for the purpose of appreciation through hiking trails, ski trails, and mountain retreats. “They brought an awareness of beauty,” says Jens. “Just like we need a friend or a parent to say ‘look at this view,’ we often need someone to help us recognize beauty as such,” a role that those early guides filled through an influence that continues to this day.
It is those themes—appreciation, preservation, and discovery—that provide a focus for Kruger’s work. The setting is Banff at the turn of the last century. It’s a world in transition, still just a decade since the establishment of a railroad connecting the country, opening up new areas of industry and new areas of discovery. “The spirit of the Rockies,” says Kruger, “is our own falling in love and our own understanding of beauty. ... [And understanding that] we are part of this world, and it is a part of us.”
A symphonic piece for chamber orchestra, guitar, bass, and banjo, “The Spirit of the Rockies” is mounted in partnership with The Banff Centre, and made possible by the generous support of David and Christine Anderson.
“The Krugers are nothing short of magnificent.” – Bluegrass Journal
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