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In single soft flourish of Rossini ‘Stabat Mater,’ Muti effect tells in Chicago Symphony, Chorus

Jun 27, 2018 – 3:27 pm
Riccardo Muti and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Chorus undertake Rossini's "Stabat Mater" with soprano Krassimira Stoyanova, mezzo-soprano Ekaterina Gubanova, tenor Dmitry Korchak and bass-baritone Eric Owens. (© Todd Rosenberg)

Review: If there was a moment during the season-ending concert that summed up the singular achievement of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Chorus under the long-term influence of Riccardo Muti, it came near the end of Rossini’s “Stabat Mater,” a Catholic hymn to Mary that pulls the listeners into the mother’s grief at the foot of the cross and offers transcendence. The three-line prayer “Quando corpus morietur” (“When my body dies, let me live in Paradise, too”) is so very human and humble that the listener might not notice how treacherous it is to sing. The Chicago Symphony Chorus imbued it with a powerful emotion that filled the hall, yet with sound so soft it barely hung on a thread.

CSO violist Max Raimi steps out as composer; Muti leads orchestra, chorus in Schubert Mass

Mar 25, 2018 – 1:50 pm
055 featuredimage_mazraimi (Todd Rosenberg)

Review: A world premiere by Chicago Symphony violist-composer Max Raimi, who set to music the poetry of a 94-year-old Pulitzer Prize winning poet in the city’s midst, was part of a special showcase honoring the orchestra’s own: The Chicago Symphony Chorus, celebrating its 60th anniversary this season, sang a Schubert magnum opus not heard in Orchestra Hall since 1975.

Chicago Symphony Chorus glories in Brahms’ ‘German Requiem’ under van Zweden’s baton

Nov 13, 2016 – 11:10 pm
11/10/16 9:17:10 PM 

Mozart Masonic Funeral Music
Wagner Prelude and Liebestod from Tristan and Isolde
Brahms A German Requiem

PERFORMERS

Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Jaap van Zweden conductor
Christiane Karg soprano
Michael Nagy baritone
Chicago Symphony Chorus 
Duain Wolfe chorus director

© Alex Garcia Photography 2016

Review: Brahms’ “German Requiem” is a gentle monument, expressive in equal parts of humility, reassurance and peace. Such were the components of a radiant performance by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, with soprano Christiane Karg and baritone Michael Nagy, conducted by Jaap van Zweden on Nov. 11 at Orchestra Hall.

CSO Chorus joins city salute to Shakespeare with tragedy, comedy from Berlioz and Verdi

Apr 6, 2016 – 10:26 pm
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Preview: The Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Chorus help to observe the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death in April with performances of two major works under the baton of CSO music director Riccard Muti – Berlioz’s dramatic symphony “Roméo et Juliette” and a concert version of Verdi’s last opera, “Falstaff.” The demands the two works place on the chorus, says director Duain Wolfe, could hardly be more different.

Riccardo Muti and stellar CSO cast honor Verdi bicentennial with a majestic view of Requiem

Oct 11, 2013 – 11:41 am
Verdi Requiem Feature Image Oct. 10, 2013 (Todd Rosenberg)

Review: It’s hardly surprising that anyone familiar with Verdi’s operas would associate his Requiem with that imposing body of music-dramas. The musical language of the one informs the rhetoric of the other. But the difference between Verdi’s stage works and great spiritual drama of the Requiem was the distinguishing feature of conductor Riccardo Muti’s account with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra on Oct. 10, the 200th anniversary of the composer’s birth.

Russian soprano’s venomous Lady Macbeth sets tone in Chicago Symphony’s Verdi thriller

Sep 30, 2013 – 3:15 pm
Dramatic coloratura soprano Tatiana Serjan as Lady Macbeth with Riccardo Muti and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Chorus Sept. 28, 2013 (© Todd Rosenberg)

Review: Tatiana Serjan is a flat-out thrilling soprano who exudes the temperament of a lioness. She is a Lady Macbeth in her early prime. There isn’t a better place to be this week than Chicago’s Orchestra Hall, where the Russian-born Serjan sings in Verdi’s “Macbeth” under ideal conditions — in concert with other emerging opera stars and the superb forces of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Chorus under Riccardo Muti. ★★★★★

Riccardo Muti turns spotlight on CSO Chorus with lustrous account of Verdi ‘Sacred Pieces’

Jun 22, 2013 – 3:52 pm
Mezzo-soprano-Alisa-Kolosova-with-the-Chicago-Sympohny-Orchestra-and-music-director-Riccardo-Muti-credit-Todd-Rosenberg.j

Review: Riccardo Muti, winding up his third season as music director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra this weekend, led the orchestra and Chicago Symphony Chorus on a spiritual voyage Thursday night, from luminous Mozart and rapturous Vivaldi to a transcendental peak in Verdi’s glorious “Four Sacred Pieces.” Performances continue through Sunday. ★★★★★

Solemnity rules as Riccardo Muti guides CSO through musical perspectives on human spirit

Mar 16, 2012 – 4:31 pm
Riccardo Muti music director Chicago Symphony 2012

Review: Riccardo Muti has given Chicago many reasons to celebrate his music directorship of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, but perhaps the most perfect expression of his belief in art’s purpose comes in the current run of rarely heard works for chorus and orchestra by Brahms, Schoenberg and Cherubini. ****