David Royko Psy.D

david@davidroyko.com

Muti's Chicago Symphony Brahms Requiem last night

Originally posted to RMCR and the Yahoo Classical Recordings newsgroups

What a profound pleasure Muti’s performance was last night (Tuesday, October 27, 2009) of the Brahms German Requiem here in Chicago with the CSO and Chorus (and soloists Russell Braun and Elin Rombo), nicely wiping away the memory of the lousy, empty reading it received from Nagano in Chicago a couple of years ago. From the very beginning, it grabbed me, that ascending oboe line delivering goosebumps. Bravo orchestra, singers, and Muti. And again, I love these early-start-time concerts. That simple half hour adjustment (7:30) sure makes it easier to enjoy the memory at work the next day.

After five or so returns to the stage during the applause, Muti got back on the podium and addressed the audience. It took a few moments for the crowd to quiet down to the silence necessary to hear his voice--which was very soft, with a thick accent--but he delivered a short and seemingly heartfelt farewell (it was the last of his performances for this season) until his return next year as the official Music Director. “Yes, I’ll be a year older, but still not so old!” he said to laughter, and encouraged those in attendance to come back and spread the word about what a great orchestra and chorus Chicago has. After what they, and he, delivered last night (and the week before with Mozart and the Bruckner second), it was easy to second that sentiment.

Dave Royko
October 28, 2009