While her residency at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra is ending, a New York-based composer hopes her influence on contemporary classical music will be long-lasting.
Chicago Symphony Orchestra
The world may be in a terrible state of upheaval at the moment, but two different concerts performed during the past week — played brilliantly by the musicians of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra — were a potent reminder that music is an astonishingly powerful emotional balm.
Breathtaking is nowhere near a powerful enough adjective to describe Gustav Mahler’s masterwork, “Symphony No. 6 in A Minor,” or its bravura rendering by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra that was led by guest conductor Jaap van Zweden.
If you needed to be reminded of the genius of two groundbreaking early 20th century composers or hoped for an introduction to a fascinating contemporary composer, Thursday’s concert of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra unquestionably lived up to expectations.
Maestro Riccardo Muti and the musicians of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra featured three very different and extremely challenging works Thursday night that, as always, showcased the brilliance of both the composers and their interpreters.
The CSO's bravura rendering of this masterwork was, indeed, a temporary balm for the soul and evidence of how great works of art speak to us throughout time.
The pairing began with Beethoven’s demonically difficult 1806 “Piano Concerto No. 4 in G Major,” with Mitsuko Uchida as the incomparable soloist. And it was followed by Philip Glass’ “Symphony No. 11,” which had its world premiere in 2017, and now received a volcanic rendering by a monumental gathering of Chicago Symphony Orchestra musicians.
Rachmaninov’s “Piano Concerto No. 2 in C Minor,” is a nerve-shatteringly difficult work. Backed by the full orchestra, which was in its usual sublime form, Lukas Vondracek rendered the extraordinary work with a superb mix of both titanic power and surprising lyricism.
The Chicago Symphony Orchestra traveled back in time with a program of works by early 18th century Baroque masters Antonio Vivaldi and George Frideric Handel.
What this glorious, superbly performed concert did prove was that listening to these works without the element of dance that ordinarily is a crucial partner of the music, you begin to hear them in a wonderfully fresh and exciting way.
Maestro Riccardo Muti was in stellar form during Thursday night’s concert in Orchestra Hall. He clearly is in love with the indomitable musicians of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and they return that passion with a magnificent combination of sound and fury and absolute beauty.
Two different concerts by the ever-remarkable Chicago Symphony Orchestra arrived on the Orchestra Hall stage. Each came with a fascinating CSO-commissioned new work, a superb visiting conductor, and breathtaking performances by the phenomenal virtuoso violinists.
Two remarkable concerts took place recently in Chicago and were designed to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the birth of Astor Piazzolla – the composer who transformed the traditional tango into an irresistible classical music hybrid.
Hedy Weiss reviews the Lyric Opera production of “The Magic Flute,” a Chicago Symphony Orchestra concert, and “Homecoming,” the latest entry in the CSO’s MusicNOW series.
Thursday evening’s Chicago Symphony Orchestra program opened with “Coincident Dances,” a fascinating 2017 work by Jessie Montgomery, the orchestra’s current Mead Composer-in-Residence. She never fails to enthrall with her rhythmically complex, richly orchestrated, highly original pieces.
Thursday’s Chicago Symphony Orchestra concert began as guest conductor James Conlon turned to the audience and announced the news that Bernard Haitink, the world-renowned and much beloved conductor with strong ties to the CSO, had died earlier in the day at his home in London at the age of 92.