Review:Chicago Symphony Orchestra

Ahh… where do I start to describe the magical evening with the CSO?

The program  started with scintillating Ravel’s Le tombeau de Couperin (“a piece written as a memorial”). As was his style, Ravel composed each movement in memory of  a friend.  Originally a piano piece, Ravel made into a orchestral suite and it was simply superb! Though it is a memorial, it is so delightful and delicate yet at the same time carries weight. The prelude was so graceful. The rest of the movements are all based on dances and the outcome is so pleasant. That was a treat! I luuuuuuuuv Ravel’s music!

The second piece of the evening was the Flute concerto by Dalbavie. This contemporary piece was so different. The flute concerto had so much going on (so many twists and surprises) that you had to pay attention to it throughout ( unlike Ravel’s  piece where you could close your eyes and be transported to your favorite ballroom and have a nice dance!). It had a mysterious feel to it and would have suited so well to a movie with a sober and dark theme. It is not my kind of music though!

Mathieu Dufour, Prinicpal Flute for CSO
Mathieu Dufour, Prinicpal Flute for CSO

As for the execution of the piece, Mathieu Dufour, the principal flute for CSO was absolutely mind-blowing.This piece is immensely complex with varying patterns that demand the best fom the flautist and my oh my, M. Dufour was just perfect. The high notes were so clear, his absolute control over the notes and his breath control- it was just a pleasure being there.  It is so amazing to see someone who is so good at what he does. To me, he was the highlight of the show!

And then came the dessert of the evening’s program- Bluebeard’s Castle!

The awesome imagination of the composer Bartok, the perfect background score where the music described the surrounding so well,the great lyrices , amazing vocals of the lead singers
(Michelle DeYoung and Herr Struckmann were really at their best), the nice balance of  tragedy and dark humor and of course the flawless execution under Mr.Boulez- it was just the best you could get from a symphony orchestra!

Bartok’s Bluebeard’s Castle was amazing in terms of musical as well as lyrical content. But would I listen it to it a 100 times?- No! It is just kind of creepy music that you associate with a horror movie. But it is so well-suited to the libretto it was written for!

Mr.Pierre Boulez, the emeritus conductor,led the orchestra so effortlessly through the complicated Bluebeard’s castle. It is so great to be in the presence of such greatness.

Summing up, it was an enchanting evening!


Krithika, for art[seen]