Music Reviews

Daring Danes Deliver

Daring Danes Deliver

By M.L. RANTALA Classical Music Critic University of Chicago presents kicked off its 2014-15 season with a remarkable performance at Mandel Hall by the Danish String Quartet. Violinists Frederik Øland and Rune Tonsgaard Sørensen, violist Asbjørn Nørgaard and cellist Fredrik Schøyen Sjölin were thrilling in performances of works by Haydn, Schubert and Thomas Agerfeldt Olesen.(…)

Strauss’s “Capriccio” shines

Strauss’s “Capriccio” shines

RECOMMENDED Where: Lyric Opera, 20 N. Wacker Drive When: through Oct. 28 Phone: 312-332-2244 By M.L. RANTALA Classical Music Critic Lyric Opera of Chicago is now offering a lavish and lovely production of the final opera by Richard Strauss. “Capriccio,” which is centered around a debate on the relative importance of words or music in(…)

Guest girds Baroque Band

Guest girds Baroque Band

By M.L. RANTALA Classical Music Critic Baroque Band opened its 2014–15 season in Hyde Park with yet another one of the special guests which have made their concerts so rewarding over their first seven years. Catalan countertenor Xavier Sabata was the main attraction, singing excerpts from two operas based on Italian poet Ludovico Ariosto’s 16th(…)

Mad, bad and dangerous to know

Mad, bad and dangerous to know

What: Mozart’s “Don Giovanni” Where: Lyric Opera, 20 N. Wacker Drive When: through Oct. 29 Phone: 312-332-2244 By M.L. RANTALA Classical Music Critic Don Giovanni” has returned to Lyric Opera of Chicago in a stunning new production featuring a Don Juan who is mad, bad and dangerous to know. Opening night Saturday offered a revelatory(…)

Sounds of autumn: A 2014 music preview

By M.L. RANTALA Classical Music Critic Just as the weather has become cool, the Chicago music scene is heating up. This fall preview will highlight some of the classical music and opera events taking place through the end of the year. We’ll start with a look at Hyde Park, then consider the greater South Side,(…)

Something different this way comes

Something different this way comes

By M.L. RANTALA What: “Macbeth” by Ernest Bloch Where: Harris Theater When: Through Sep. 21 Phone: 312-704-8414 Web: ChicagoOperaTheater.org Chicago Opera Theater’s advertising tag line is “More of the different,” which aptly captures what this company does. Their latest offering is the Chicago premiere of an opera more than a century old but which has(…)

Dodging snares, Lyric Stars soars

Dodging snares, Lyric Stars soars

By M.L. RANTALA Classical Music Critic It was clear and only just a little cool Saturday night as some 11,000 people settled into one of Chicago’s favorite parks for the annual “Stars of Lyric Opera at Millennium Park” concert. The actual audience was even larger than those who made their way to the lakefront, as(…)

More Mozart memories from Ravinia

More Mozart memories from Ravinia

By M.L. RANTALA Classical Music Critic Along with two performances of “Don Giovanni” (discussed in these pages last week), also on the Ravinia Festival program this year were two performances of “The Marriage of Figaro.” Mozart was well represented by a handsome group of singers this summer. There was a sturdy Figaro in bass-baritone John(…)