Articles tagged with: Ravinia Festival
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.
Review: The original story behind Stravinsky’s ballet music for “The Firebird” is one of transcendence: evil vanquished and good souls restored to life. So it isn’t such a great stretch to the re-imagined ballet, as a danced parable with giant puppets, presented by Janni Younge Productions at the Ravinia Festival. It tells tell twin tales of personal self-discovery and South Africa’s continuing struggle for social reclamation two decades after the end of apartheid.
Review: Even Mother Nature fell silent to listen when conductor James Levine made his much anticipated, storm-framed return to the Ravinia Festival on July 23. Levine led the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in a transcendent performance of Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 in C minor (“Resurrection”), the very work with which he had made his emergency debut at Ravinia 45 years ago.
Review: It was a night of narratives – not told in words, but hardly less vividly conveyed as the emotional storylines of a Ravinia Festival concert July 20 by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra conducted by Vasily Petrenko with pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet.
Preview: Philip Setzer, founding violinist with the celebrated Emerson String Quartet, calls the sort of program his foursome will play at the Ravina Festival on July 5 a form of biography: a body of works from the hand of a single composer. In this case, it’s the six quartets of Haydn’s Op. 76, which took the Austrian master – and the form – to a new place.
Review: Composers have long been fascinated by folk music. From Josquin des Prez’s late 15th-century “Missa L’homme armé,” based on a popular French tune, to Donnacha Dennehy’s Irish music-inspired “Grá agus bás” from 2007, folk songs have often made their mark on classical music, either through direct transcription or simple inspiration. On July 5 at Ravinia’s Martin Theatre, the iconoclastic chamber orchestra the Knights, joined by the likewise singular soprano Dawn Upshaw, gamboled through some of the vibrant repertoire that has emerged from composers’ attraction to folk music.
Review: When I chatted with the young Montenegrin classical guitar virtuoso Miloš Karadaglić last November, about an impending solo appearance at City Winery, he made a brief digression to a major project then in progress – a recordng with conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin and the London Philharmonic Orchestra that would pair Joaquin Rodrigo’s popular “Concierto de Aranjuez” and “Fantasía para un gentilhombre.” The CD has just been released, and it is a multifaceted beauty. ★★★★★
Report: Ravinia Festival music director James Conlon leads Mozart’s “The Marriage of Figaro” and “Don Giovanni,” soprano Patricia Racette stars in Strauss’ grisly “Salome” and Finnish conductor Susanna Mälkki makes her festival debut in the 2014 summer series announced Thursday.
Ravinia Festival Best Bets: If you want to branch out a bit musically, the summertime Ravinia Festival in Highland Park is a good place for it. There, classical music lovers sample niche-expanding novelties of the sort that gave Brooklyn Academy of Music its must-see reputation. College students picnic on the lawn for free when the Chicago Symphony Orchestra performs. And family friendly movie prices rule for recitals featuring the latest contest winners and stars on the rise.
Report: Pianist Misha Dichter, who celebrates his 45th consecutive season with the Ravinia Festival on July 29, shares his passion for sketching in a new e-book.
Review: No doubt the large crowd gathered June 23 at the Ravinia Festival’s Martin Recital Hall was drawn mainly by the prospect of seeing 75-year-old composer-pianist Philip Glass perform a program of his own music. And no doubt they came away delighted by the 90-minute sampler of Glass’ music through the decades and his affable flair for story-telling. But the brightest light on this evening was cast by the youthful, California-born violinist Tim Fain, who played – among other things — one prodigious movement from an unaccompanied suite that Glass has written for him. *****