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Posted inMusic

Bernsteinmania

CHICAGO SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA at Orchestra Hall June 16 and 21 Leonard Bernstein’s 70th birthday is coming up, and his recent appearances with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra have occasioned many ringing praises–in the press, at Orchestra Hall, and at a $75-a-plate birthday dinner at the Museum of Science and Industry. The performances themselves, however, made it […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Music Notes: some string quartets can play what they like

Last month at their Chamber Music Chicago “Outreach Series” concert for children, a young girl stood up and asked the Kronos Quartet why they don’t play Mozart. “Don’t you like him?” she asked, sincerely puzzled. “Yes, yes, very much,” David Harrington, Kronos leader, founder, and first violinist, answered. “He’s a real nice guy!” “Didn’t he […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Jimmy Smith

When producer Quincy Jones decided to add an organ solo to the title track of Michael Jackson’s Bad, he had only one person in mind–jazz organist Jimmy Smith. When Paul Shaffer plays a familiar lick or two on Late Night With David Letterman on his Hammond B-3, Dave will turn and say, “Been listening to […]

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Period With a Passion

THE CITY MUSICK at the John G. Shedd Aquarium April 20 When I asked a member of the City Musick recently why they were performing Mozart’s Idomeneo at the Shedd Aquarium, I was told with an utterly serious look, “Believe me, not just for the halibut.” There is a certain appropriateness to hearing Mozart’s early […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Paul Hillier

True troubadours are rare in the 20th century, but baritone Paul Hillier is just that. For years he has laid musical cornerstones–as founder and director of the English early-music vocal group the Hilliard Ensemble, an internationally acclaimed and widely recorded ensemble known for linking past and present in a unique, brightly focused sound with perfect […]

Posted inArts & Culture

A Fairy Tale for Grown-ups

CINDERELLA Chicago Opera Theater at the Athenaeum Theater April 23, 27, 29, and 30, May 1, 4, and 8, 1988 If one thinks of Cinderella as a children’s fairy tale, a la Charles Perrault or Walt Disney, featuring fairy godmothers, pumpkin coaches, and glass slippers, then Rossini’s treatment of the story in his opera La […]

Posted inMusic

3

Appearances to the contrary, this is not another scaled-down ELP revival, despite the involvement of two-thirds of the original ELP personnel. It is the unique brainchild of drummer Carl Palmer (the only member of the original band who declined 1986’s ELP revival), who discovered a sensational new singer/songwriter in the California Bay area named Robert […]

Posted inMusic

Cross Dreams

HIS MAJESTIE’S CLERKES at Quigley Chapel March 25, 1988 Two years ago the local a cappella choral group His Majestie’s Clerkes commissioned a work from Chicago composer Daniel Tucker. Last month the Clerkes gave Tucker’s The Dream of the Rood its premiere performance as the climax of a concert that spanned almost five centuries of […]

Posted inMusic

Hard Stuff

THE LOOP GROUP at Curtis Hall, Fine Arts Building March 5, 1988 Last fall, when composer Pierre Boulez came to Chicago for his first extended stay here in almost 18 years, he enthusiastically agreed to coach young Loop Group performers. This local 20th-century music ensemble was to perform Boulez’s masterpiece Le marteau sans maitre (“The […]

Posted inMusic

Bach to Bach

BACH’S MASS IN B MINOR Basically Bach at First United Church of Oak Park September 7, 1986 BACH’S MASS IN B MINOR Music of the Baroque at Saint Paul’s United Church of Christ November 4, 1986 Much attention has been given over in recent years to the “authenticity” movement in serious music circles, to the […]