CSO kicked off the 2017/18 season last week. This year I did not attend the opening ( not too fond of this year's program ) but I was curious about rarely played Schumann's Symphony No.2.
Anne-Sophie Mutter is no stranger to Chicago periodically appears at the orchestra Hall. The most memorable for me was on 2010 Season opening, when Muti unexpectedly fell ill to perform, Mutter went on the stage and played the concerto and directed the orchestra. The show must go on!
Muti/CSO & Mutter
Penderecki The Awakening of Jacob
Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto
Schumann Symphony No. 2
The concert opened with Chicago premier of The Awakening of Jacob. Probably most notable because it was used in Kubrik's Shining. Rememer that eerrie *non directional* music that hover around the haunted empty hotel? Like Ligeti's Lontano/Atmospheres, it is really cool to hear it played with full orchestra. Sheer scale of the sound albeit even in a whiper volume create the same supernatural presence.
I must say that I didn't expect much out of Mutter playing Tchaikovsky's VC as I think her style is wrong for this sort of program. ( but you never know ) As I expected it was too soft and mellifluous not enough precision and lacking *gestalt* for this score. ( my reference for this score is either Heifetz or Oistrak ) Audience loved her and she came back with a lovely Bach encore. My friend thought she missed a few notes. ( not a tie breaker for me. I have see her totally derailed out of concert once, tho. ) But she looked great in a striking lemon yellow gown.
Muti's Schumann was enjoyable. More fluid and romantic, perhaps and less abrupt than Chaily's Mahler version I am familiiar with. Particularly Adagio was beautifully done. This alone was worth the admission for me!
Unusually this concert started with Muti playing 'Star Spangle Banner' everyone standing up and singing together. There was a single US flag on the stage, too. Very strange. I've never seen that before.