Now that Taste of Chicago is over, Grant Park has returned to normal–and to genuine music making. This weekend’s Grant Park Symphony concert is a trio of 20th-century works from the conservative wing. Receiving its American premiere is Paul Patterson’s Te Deum (1988), the last installment in the 44-year-old British composer’s trilogy of large-scale (three-choir) choral works. Patterson once favored the high-intensity, percussive styles of Krzysztof Penderecki and Gyorgy Ligeti, but Te Deum, commissioned by the Hereford Cathedral, reflects his conversion in the early 80s to the English choral tradition and the music of Benjamin Britten. Leonard Bernstein, whose Chichester Psalms is second on the program, underwent a similar stylistic change in the early 60s–from a protracted flirtation with serialism (culminating in the 1963 Kaddish Symphony) back to tonality (the psalms written in 1965). The evening’s last piece is Variations on a Nursery Song by Erno Dohnanyi (1877-1960), a colorful Hungarian musician who excelled both at conducting and at the keyboard. Had he lived 50 years earlier, his lyrical and vivacious style would’ve earned him a higher place in musical history. Headlining are pianist David Golub and soprano Diane Regains; conducting is Geoffrey Simon, with the Grant Park Symphony Chorus prepared by Thomas Peck. Saturday, 8 PM, and Sunday, 7 PM, Petrillo Music Shell, Columbus Drive and Jackson; 819-0614.
Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Christian Steiner.