Overview: Chicago Symphony Shows Out-of-Character Modesty at Carnegie

Overview: Chicago Symphony Shows Out-of-Character Modesty at Carnegie

Telling alongside the identical strains was a trombone grasp class at Carnegie on Saturday morning, wherein Mr. Friedman advocated compact tone (“attempt to make the sound smaller than the tools needs it to be”) and differentiated articulation (“distinction is the important thing to fashion; evenness is the alternative of favor.”). All this in good measure, in fact, and the concerto soloists and the orchestra’s excessive brasses proved wonderful fashions of moderation in each concert events.

Nonetheless, accidents occur, and the trumpets went momentarily however badly astray within the rising clamor on the finish of Brahms’s Second Symphony on Saturday night. That work — Brahms’s mellowest, least troubled symphony and hardly a blockbuster — was the largest work on both program, and Mr. Muti, not at all times a convincing Brahmsian in earlier years, appears to have developed a larger affinity for the composer.


Standing from left, Mr. Muti, Jennifer Higdon, Jay Friedman and Gene Pokorny.

Credit score
Todd Rosenberg

The Saturday program was stuffed out by Verdi’s “I Vespri Siciliani” Overture and one other new work commissioned by the orchestra, Samuel Adams’s “many phrases of affection.” The Adams work took its inspiration from Schubert’s music cycle “Winterreise,” particularly a phrase from “Der Lindenbaum” (“The Linden Tree”): “On its bark I carved do many phrases of affection.”

Not that you simply’d be prone to discover. Mr. Adams successfully buries the little melodic fragment in an extravagant, churning brew of dwell and digital sound whose most important structural components are prolonged, typically monumental, stepwise rises and falls. This system notes additionally point out a priority for “the ailing earth,” although right here, too, you wouldn’t essentially uncover that concern with out (even with) studying them.

Mr. Adams’s personal notice describes the work’s paradoxical qualities: “tonal however noisy, lyrical however austere, Schubert however in no way.” No argument right here.

The opposite unhackneyed works within the barely odd mixture of Friday’s program have been Stravinsky’s piquant “Scherzo Fantastique,” Chausson’s vocal-orchestral hybrid “Poème de l’Amour et de la Mer” (“Poem of Love and of the Sea”), and the 4 Sea Interludes from Britten’s opera “Peter Grimes.” The mezzo-soprano Clémentine Margaine was an excellent soloist within the Chausson, richly sonorous and warmly expressive, and the pairing of that work with the Britten was hanging.

Just like the concert events themselves, the encores have been something however show-off-y: Giuseppe Martucci’s “Notturno” (Op. 70, No. 1), a longtime Muti favourite, on Friday and the B flat Intermezzo from Schubert’s incidental music for Helmina von Chézy’s play “Rosamunde” on Saturday.

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