Chicago Symphony Orchestra presented Overture



“If only the whole world could feel the power of harmony,” said Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. I’m not sure about the whole world, but those who have chosen to attend the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s Overture concert program have definitely felt the power of harmony and appreciated the beauty of classical music. Overture is the orchestra’s third live concert program this season. It took place on June 10, 11, 12 and 13 at the Chicago Symphony Center.

Members of the public felt calm and confident attending these concerts as new “Safe and Sound” measures were adopted to welcome customers back to the Symphony Center. At all times, customers and staff are required to follow all necessary safety measures, such as wearing face coverings and following social distancing guidelines inside the Symphony Center.

This concert program, along with the first two live concert programs (Fanfare and Strum), was performed for a reduced capacity audience in the orchestra hall with security measures in place in accordance with current COVID-19 guidelines. state and city for public events.

It is important to note that the Chicago Symphony Orchestra performed live for its audience by presenting these three separate concert programs for the first time since March 2020. Overture is the final concert program of this short live concert series .

Under the baton of Maestro Edo de Waart, this concert program sounded particularly superb. The long career of this brilliant conductor and his exceptional experience and achievements have helped to demonstrate the best qualifications of the musicians of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

Originally from the Netherlands, Edo de Waart began his career as assistant conductor to Leonard Bernstein at the New York Philharmonic. Since then, he has gained international recognition for his mastery and talent. During the 2019-2020 season, Maestro de Waart began his role as Principal Guest Conductor of the San Diego Symphony Orchestra. He is an award-winning conductor of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, the Antwerp Symphony Orchestra and the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra. De Waart is Laureate Music Director of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra. Maestro de Waart is also known as an acclaimed opera conductor.

The program began with the Overture to Don Giovanni written by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. He wrote his 2-act opera Don Giovanni in 1787, but the overture is said to have been composed the day before the opera’s premiere. Needless to say, the proximity to the writing of this composition did not reflect the quality of this amazing piece.

This famous and intriguing overture is written in the classical structure of the three-section sonata form and contains no theme from the opera itself. Although it conveys a tense and somewhat somber mood, the audience appreciated the different instrument groups of the orchestra playing in a beautiful ensemble and their ability to demonstrate the drama of the music and its development. I have to tell you that every musician should know how to play Mozart like the musicians of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra do, because they are really good at showing the true intentions of the composer and demonstrating the beauty of his compositions.

This opening was followed by a picturesque composition entitled Siegfried Idyll by the German composer Richard Wagner, which he dedicated to his wife Cosima and their son. This calm and peaceful piece impressed the audience with its eloquent main melody which has continued to develop in a dynamic and emotional way. It has been picked up by various instrument groups creating an unforgettable musical dialogue.

You could hear the musicians playing with their hearts. This piece was thoughtful, but not sad, and impressed audiences with its rich sound. I watched the conductor’s hands – his movements were both smooth and precise.

The sounds of one of Mozart’s most recognizable masterpieces, Symphony No. 40, concluded this concert program. When the orchestra started playing this piece, I got goose bumps. I have to admit this is one of my favorite compositions. The first part of the symphony, Molto Allegro, is extremely popular, and even if a person does not remember the name and the author of it, they have certainly heard it at least once in their life. Its expressive melody is captivating and intriguing, yet easy to understand and memorize. The composer’s musical thinking is direct and absolute – by its structure and emotional fullness, I can certainly call it perfect.

The second part of the symphony, Andante, is also very popular. Her beautiful, thoughtful melody impressed everyone with her inner development and elegance. The third part, Menuetto: Allegretto demonstrated the composer’s ability to create precise musical phrases while demonstrating their expressiveness, while showing the calm and confident dialogue of the instruments.

The final part of this symphony, Allegro Assai, brought a lot of emotion and energy. Its playful and elegant melody is also very popular. Her inner power and an impressive musical dialogue between the instruments touched everyone’s heart. How did I feel at that time? I realized that this world will keep spinning as long as Mozart’s music is alive.

This concert program did not just close the 2020/21 season of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. It has also become an opening for his future brilliant and successful concerts and performances, as these long and difficult months of pandemic have shown us how much we need live classical music events in our lives.

Nathalie Dagenhart


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