Monday, July 1, 2013

Concert Reviews - June

Part of a series of reviews of concerts I attend. Select "Concert Reviews" from the list of labels in the sidebar to see all of them.


Civic Orchestra of Chicago
Prokofiev 5
Monday, June 3
Orchestra Hall, Symphony Center, Chicago, Illinois

I was glad to be free to attend the Civic Orchestra’s final concert of the season – and this time, it featured not one, not two, but three of my former Conservatory peers.

The program opened with Rimsky-Korsakov’s Russian Easter Overture. I have a passing familiarity with this work, as it appears on occasional trombone excerpt lists. It was the first time I had heard it performed live, and I enjoyed the Civic’s as-always passionate performance of this multi-faceted work, which musically illustrates Good Friday and Easter Sunday, influenced by Russian Orthodox music.

The second piece on the program was Prokofiev’s Fifth Symphony. The Civic’s performance here was excellent as well, particularly of the exciting and frenzied finale to the final movement, Allegro giocoso.

Jacob Fuhrman
Organ Recital
Thursday, June 27
Grace Lutheran Church, Glen Ellyn, Illinoin

Jacob Fuhrman was a contemporary of mine when I was an undergrad at Wheaton College. He is currently in the midst of his master’s degree at Eastman, but was in Chicago during the summer and gave a recital at the church where he had attended and served during his time as an undergrad. Jacob had selected a diverse set of repertoire, including well-known organ composers such as Bach and Widor, but even for those familiar names, the pieces themselves were new to me. He also included some audience participation, providing us with and asking us to sing the words to a hymn (“In God, My Faithful God”), and followed the singing with a set of variations on the hymn tune. An organ recital is something of a rarity for me, and it was refreshing to hear such a quality performance.

Grant Park Music Festival
Britten’s War Requiem
Friday, June 28
Jay Pritzker Pavilion, Millennium Park, Chicago, Illinois

This was my first time attending a Grant Park Music Festival concert this summer. I had only a passing familiarity with the War Requiem, so I was excited to hear it in full for the first time, and to hear it live. I found the work striking – it was less episodic then I thought it would be, with most movements and sections flowing seamlessly one to the next. Carlos Kalmar led the combined forces of the Grant Park Orchestra, Grant Park Chorus, and Chicago Children’s Chorus to great dramatic effect.

Concordia University Band
Patriotic Pops
Saturday, June 29
Addison Hall Lawn, Concordia University Chicago, River Forest, Illinois

My family and I have attended this free community concert, always on the Saturday before Independence Day, for a number of years now. This year's featured an Oklahoma medley, Von Suppe's "Light Cavalry Overture," and perennial classics "Armed Force Salute," "America the Beautiful," and "The Stars and Stripes Forever." Dr. Richard Foester conducted the diverse ensemble of students, faculty, and community members.


Have you heard any good concerts lately? Share a review in the comments section below!

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