Music Reviews

Chicago Ensemble charms at I-House

By M.L. RANTALA Classical Music Critic The Chicago Ensemble, now in its 37th season, is clearly one of Chicago’s most durable music performing groups. Artistic director Gerald Rizzer has consistently proven that he can craft engaging programs that combine well-known works with music off the beaten path. Sometimes the lesser-known pieces are by the most(…)

Review: “The Sound of Music”

Where: Lyric Opera of Chicago, Civic Opera House, 20 N. Wacker Drive When: through May 25 Tickets: $29-$199 Phone: 312-332-2244 By M.L. RANTALA Classical Music Critic The 1965 movie “The Sound of Music,” starring Julie Andrews, is one of the greatest musicals ever put on film. Millions of people who have seen the screen version(…)

SOBs shine through Baroque Band

By M.L. RANTALA Classical Music Critic Baroque Band has been pleasing Chicago and particularly Hyde Park audiences since 2007. Founded by British violinist Garry Clarke, it has established itself as a fixture on the Chicago music scene. Such is its strength that it has continued without a glitch this season even with Clarke on a(…)

Salonen shows his skill at CSO

By M.L. RANTALA Classical Music Critic Last month Esa-Pekka Salonen was awarded the Nemmers Prize in Music Composition by the Bienen School of Music at Northwestern University and last week Chicago audiences had a chance to hear him conduct one of his recent works on the podium in front of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Entitled(…)

A pleasing program of program music with the CSO

By M.L. RANTALA Classical Music Critic Program music was the order of the day when guest conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen led the Chicago Symphony Orchestra on Saturday night. The evening began with “

Review: “La tragédie de Carmen”

Where: The Den Theater, 1333 N. Milwaukee Ave. When: through April 13 Web: cubeensemble.com By M.L. RANTALA Classical Music Critic The CUBE Ensemble was founded in 1987 by composer and oboist Patricia Morehead. Along with Philip Morehead, her husband of more than 50 years, and other talented local composers and musicians, for nearly three decades(…)

Hyde Park G and S’s “Pinafore” shines

By M L RANTALA Music Critic Hyde Park’s own Gilbert and Sullivan Opera Company welcomed spring with another fun and frothy production of “H.M.S. Pinafore.” This silly story of “The Lass that Loved a Sailor” was given three performances this past weekend at Mandel Hall. Since 1960 this troupe has been offering the works of(…)

A rousing “Tito” at Lyric

What: “La Clemenza di Tito” Where: Lyric Opera, 20 N. Wacker Dr. When: through March 23 Phone: 312-332-2244 By M.L. RANTALA Classical Music Critic La Clemenza di Tito” is a splendid example of Enlightenment thinking. The main theme is the exercise of power tempered by compassion. Tito rules Rome because his father wrested power from(…)