From the CSO’s Archives: Maestro’s Choice

For All Music Lovers in These Difficult Times

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Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Photo: Todd Rosenberg.

Riccardo Muti leads the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (Photo: Todd Rosenberg)

In response to the COVID-19 crisis, WFMT and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra have partnered to launch a new six-program broadcast series. Riccardo Muti, music director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra since 2010, has curated the programs. Selections include CSO concert programs from Muti’s tenure as music director, CSO Resound recordings led by Muti and other conductors, as well as archival CSO concert performances and commercial recordings. “During these times of uncertainty, and with the absence of live music in our concert halls, I hope that people everywhere will remain connected to the wonderful artistry of the Chicago Symphony through these special programs,” said Muti.

Listen to the most recent episodes of Maestro’s Choice here.

Bernard Haitink conducts Mahler’s Sixth

August 18, 2020

Bernard Haitink—the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s principal conductor from 2006 until 2010—leads a performance of Mahler’s Sixth Symphony, recorded in October 2007 for CSO Resound. The program opens with Sharav’s Legend of Herlen, featuring the Silk Road Ensemble with Yo-Yo Ma, from the Grammy Award–winning recording Traditions and Transformations, also released on CSO Resound.

Riccardo Muti conducts Bruckner’s Ninth

August 25, 2020

Theodore Thomas, the Orchestra’s founder and first music director, led the ensemble in the U.S. premiere of Bruckner’s Ninth Symphony in February 1904. In June 2016, tenth music director Riccardo Muti continued that tradition, leading the Orchestra in the composer’s unfinished work, later released on CSO Resound. This program also includes the intermezzo from Puccini’s Manon Lescaut, along with other ...

The CSO in Strauss, Schumann, and Beethoven

September 1, 2020

Three CSO music directors—Frederick Stock, Fritz Reiner, and Jean Martinon—along with Principal Guest Conductor Pierre Boulez are featured on this program leading works by Strauss, Schumann, and Brahms. A 1966 performance of Beethoven’s Emperor Concerto concludes the program with Russian pianist Emil Gilels as soloist and Martinon on the podium.

Riccardo Muti conducts Berlioz’s Lélio

September 8, 2020

CSO Resound recordings featuring the Chicago Symphony Chorus are highlighted on this program, opening with Lélio, Berlioz’s sequel to his Symphonie fantastique with award-winning actor Gérard Depardieu as the narrator. Selections from Verdi’s Nabucco and Boito’s Mefistofele, under Riccardo Muti’s baton, complete the program.

Pierre Boulez and Bernard Haitink

September 15, 2020

CSO Resound recordings are featured in this program that opens with Assistant Principal Trumpet Mark Ridenour conducting the CSO Brass in an arrangement of Bach’s Passacaglia and Fugue in C minor. Pierre Boulez, who served as the Helen Regenstein Conductor Emeritus from 2006 to 2016, takes the podium in a 2009 performance of Stravinsky’s one-act neoclassical ballet Pulcinella—with vocal soloists Roxana Constantinescu, Nicholas Phan, and Kyle Ketelsen—and Principal Conductor Bernard Haitink leads Strauss’s Ein Heldenleben to conclude the program.