Monday, May 23, 2011

Chicago Symphony Orchestra- An Afternoon Matinee Review and Musings

It isn't often, although not unprecedented, that I score tickets to a Chicago Symphony Orchestra (CSO) Friday afternoon matinee. My dear friend, and fellow CSO lover, RGO was kind enough to give me her ticket. Thinking this indulgence was permissible provided I blogged, off I went.

What did I find? A salute to
Trumpet Treasures with Ludovic Morlot conducting, and Christopher Martin on trumpet. Martin is a CSO Principal, and Friday's performance was an all-French program of 20th century works. Following is the featured program: Full disclosure, other than enjoying fine music and listening regularly (via local programmer WFMT), I am by no means knowledgeable in the top-tier sense. Maybe you know someone who can evaluate the quality of performances, recordings etc? Well, that's not me. That said, I found this to be a thoroughly enjoyable concert. I am sure I was surrounded by some who are true fine music afficianados. But then again maybe they, like me were simply there to enjoy this lovely music on a Friday afternoon in May. While the quality of any CSO performance is unsurpassed- to this I can attest- it is always approachable and accessible.

On this afternoon I found myself enjoying the Tomasi works particularly. Henri Tomasi's first foray into composing was in the many movie houses of Marseilles, with a particular fondness for the films of
Charlie Chaplin. During his years at the Paris Conservatory he continued to perform in cafes, hotels, cinemas and the occasional brothel to earn a living. This, I felt, evident in the music- with an almost jazz-like, melodic quality. It served to briefly transport me to the movie houses and cafes (if not a brothels) of Paris in the early to mid 20th century. Accessible music with a slightly bohemian pedigree.

I take any chance I can get to attend CSO. To the few who read this blog, I recommend a visit. It is a lovely way to spend an afternoon or evening. By doing so you are also supporting one of the cultural icons of Chicago
. With that in mind I am looking forward to the summer, Sunday afternoon concerts at Ravinia Festival. Also, In Chicago we are fortunate to have classical programming from not only WFMT, but others like WNUR. Opportunity abounds if you seize it!

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