Sunday night, the Orion Chamber Ensemble performed the first show of their second concert series for the 2012-2013 season. Titled “A Night at the Opera,” The program featured an aria by Wagner transcribed for piano by Liszt and two instrumental works, a quintet and a quartet, by Carl Maria Weber and Giuseppe Verdi respectively, composers each famous for their operas.
Verdi’s only string quartet is full of operatic drama. Opening the night, the piece was performed by violinist Florentina Ramniceanu, cellist Judy Stone, and guest violinist Stephen Boe and violist Roger Chase. The musical conversation between the four instruments was intriguing to follow.
Undead lovers, wild romps through moonlit forests, and a thrilling climax bizarrely prefiguring George Romero's Night of the Living Dead, Dvorak's The Spectre's Bride checks all the boxes for a romantic mid-Victorian ghost story. Friday night, 17 August, the Grant Park Orchestra and Chorus performed the cantata (the last piece of this year's Grant Park Music Festival) before a large crowd at the Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park.
On Wednesday, June 12, members of the Fifth House Ensemble and young musicians from the Fresh Inc Festival performed the second of Rush Hour Concerts’ summer series concerts at the St. James Cathedral downtown. The program featured a shortened version of Terry Riley’s “In C,” “Aires Tropicales” by Paquito D’Rivera, and the world-premier of Alex Temple’s “Party at the Last Resort.” Recorded live by WFMT, the show began with Alex’s “Party at the Last Resort,” which was selected from many original compositions at the Fresh Inc Festival for emerging artists. A re-worked and updated version of the 2006 “The Last Resort Party Band,” (“This is the ‘official’ version,” says Temple) “Party at the Last Resort” featured an interesting and unusual mix of sounds, sometimes jaunty, sometimes ominous, changing quickly from driving rhythms to quiet, faint, drawn out violin notes.