CSO Concert

The CSO concert yesterday was incredible! I planned to go with my neighbor, but she decided to stay at home while the virus situation was crazy. I completely understood her, but still, I decided I was going.
I would not say the orchestra hall was packed, but there was a substantial crowd.
The program is on the photo below, and I think I do not need to write anything else. The program was fantastic, and the conductor and the soloist were perfect.


It might seem that you can’t do anything new with Rapsody in Blue, especially in Chicago, but still, that was a performance like no other I ever heard. And the audience reacted enthusiastically.

Merry, Merry Chicago Concert

Yesterday, I was at the CSO holiday concert – what a delight! It was a last-minute decision; I was not sure I would fit it into my schedule comfortably. I decided just a couple of days before the concert, and I also invited one of my friends with her daughter. It was their first time for both of them in the CSO, and I like to take people to the CSO for the first time almost as much as I like to teach people to skate!

It was a very good concert, very festive, the one which helps to feel the holiday magic. I can recall a couple of more exciting shows, which would tell a story (like the one based on O’Henry’s The Gifts of the Magi or the one about the Christmas truce during WWI), but this one was still very good.

The best thing was that the CSO returned to the holiday tradition and presented “Christmas in Chicago” at the end (and as it ought to be, it was not on the program). I think it was in 2018 when they did not sing this song, and I was so upset with it that I ended up not going in 2019!

SO this year, the concert is back, and Christmas in Chicago is back! 

And for those who for some reason never heard this song, here ae official lyrics:

Christmas in Chicago – lyrics

Christmas in Chicago is my kind of Christmas

It’s just what Christmas ought to be

Snowflakes fill the frosty air, skaters frolic on the square

And on State Street dazzling windows are a beautiful sight to see

Christmas in Chicago, as hearts fill with wonder

Lights sparkle all along Magnificent Mile

I love Christmas in Chicago, that’s my kind of Christmas

At Christmas all Chicago wears a smile

The City of Big Shoulders wears a robe of winter white

The lion statues wear their wreaths of green

Picasso’s sculpture wears a cheerful multicolored glow

Reflected from the city’s Christmas tree

Christmas in Chicago is music and laughter

And singing carols here at Orchestra Hall

I love Christmas in Chicago, that’s my kind of Christmas

It’s like no other Christmas at all

Christmas in Chicago is my kind of Christmas

It’s just what Christmas ought to be

We’ll make a trip to carol at the zoo in Lincoln Park

We’ll sing for kangaroo and chimpanzee

We’ll warm up with hot chocolate there and then we’ll go downtown

To Marshall Field’s and sit on Santa’s knee

Christmas in Chicago is my kind of Christmas

It’s just what Christmas ought to be

Sleigh bells ring on horsedrawn cabs near Water Tower Place

Church bells peal from steeples ’round the town

Salvation Army Santas add a joyful ring-a-ling

The Loop is filled with happy Christmas sounds

Christmas in Chicago is music and laughter

And singing carols here at Orchestra Hall

I love Christmas in Chicago, that’s my kind of Christmas

It’s like no other Christmas at all

Chicago’s kind of Christmas is a magic kind of Christmas

It’s like no other Christmas at all

Yesterday, I was at the CSO holiday concert – what a delight! It was a last-minute decision; I was not sure I would fit it into my schedule comfortably. I decided just a couple of days before the concert, and I also invited one of my friends with her daughter. It was their first time for both of them in the CSO, and I like to take people to the CSO for the first time almost as much as I like to teach people to skate!

It was a very good concert, very festive, the one which helps to feel the holiday magic. I can recall a couple of more exciting shows, which would tell a story (like the one based on O’Henry’s The Gifts of the Magi or the one about the Christmas truce during WWI), but this one was still very good.

The best thing was that the CSO returned to the holiday tradition and presented “Christmas in Chicago” at the end (and as it ought to be, it was not on the program). I think it was in 2018 when they did not sing this song, and I was so upset with it that I ended up not going in 2019!

SO this year, the concert is back, and Christmas in Chicago is back! 

And for those who for some reason never heard this song, here are official lyrics:

Christmas in Chicago – lyrics

Christmas in Chicago is my kind of Christmas

It’s just what Christmas ought to be

Snowflakes fill the frosty air, skaters frolic on the square

And on State Street dazzling windows are a beautiful sight to see

Christmas in Chicago, as hearts fill with wonder

Lights sparkle all along Magnificent Mile

I love Christmas in Chicago, that’s my kind of Christmas

At Christmas all Chicago wears a smile

The City of Big Shoulders wears a robe of winter white

The lion statues wear their wreaths of green

Picasso’s sculpture wears a cheerful multicolored glow

Reflected from the city’s Christmas tree

Christmas in Chicago is music and laughter

And singing carols here at Orchestra Hall

I love Christmas in Chicago, that’s my kind of Christmas

It’s like no other Christmas at all

Christmas in Chicago is my kind of Christmas

It’s just what Christmas ought to be

We’ll make a trip to carol at the zoo in Lincoln Park

We’ll sing for kangaroo and chimpanzee

We’ll warm up with hot chocolate there and then we’ll go downtown

To Marshall Field’s and sit on Santa’s knee

Christmas in Chicago is my kind of Christmas

It’s just what Christmas ought to be

Sleigh bells ring on horsedrawn cabs near Water Tower Place

Church bells peal from steeples ’round the town

Salvation Army Santas add a joyful ring-a-ling

The Loop is filled with happy Christmas sounds

Christmas in Chicago is music and laughter

And singing carols here at Orchestra Hall

I love Christmas in Chicago, that’s my kind of Christmas

It’s like no other Christmas at all

Chicago’s kind of Christmas is a magic kind of Christmas

It’s like no other Christmas at all!

And that’s exactly how we felt!

Continue reading “Merry, Merry Chicago Concert”

The Chicago Symphony Opens The Season

It’s late, and I should go to bed right away, but I have to say something about today’s concert. The whole week was a week of openings of the season: first the Lyric last Friday, then the Music of Baroque on Monday, and today, it was Chicago Symphony – maestro Muti reunited with his orchestra.

It was the best thing in this season so far. Even the way they played a National Anthem at the beginning of the concert, my friend Geri and I agreed that it was incredibly moving. Maestro Muti talked to the audience in the beginning. He said he had to prepare a celebratory speech, but he couldn’t find the right words “because English was not his native language.” In reality, he was very emotional, and his hands trembled when he was holding a mike. He talked about the past pandemic and how musicians suffered because they could not talk to the world. He said that we all were there not just to listen to the music but also to interact with the orchestra. And also, he said that music is inclusive, there is a place for everybody, and “those how is saying all this garbage … it’s just garbage!” Everybody laughed: he said in before conducting a piece by Florence Price 🙂

The pictures below were taken before people started to come in, and later there was a full house. I think my friend has more; if that’s the case, I will share them.

Music Of The Baroque Concert

Among of gazillion subscriptions I purchased for the upcoming season was Music of the Baroque 50th season. I was a subscriber many years ago, but then I dropped this subscription because it felt like “too much” – I didn’t enjoy the concerts when I knew I had to come home very late several times a week.

This season, I am so hungry for music that I even asked Boris to stop me from purchasing too much:). I ended up purchasing four concerts. I also marked the calendar for a free concert in Millennium Park. 

Two weeks ago, I received an email from Music of Baroque, which said that since I am a subscriber, I can get VIP seating for this concert for free. Of course, I RSVPed yes!

The concert was yesterday, and since the weather was perfect, I took mom to the concert. At some point, I was slightly hesitant to go because I had so many things to do for work and the Postgres community at large, and I am so glad I went! 

I never sat on these VIP seats so close to the stage – and that’s an extraordinary experience. Dame Jane Glover was even more enthusiastic than ever to be reunited with her orchestra! In the course of about 75 minutes, Dame Jane gave a preview of the whole season, featuring Hendel, Bach, Mozart, and Purcell, including excerpts of classics, like Music for the Royals Fireworks and a brand new commission dedicated to the 50th anniversary of the orchestra –  Spectacle of Light by Chicago-based composer Stacy Garrop. A young cellist Ifetayo Ali-Landing was amazing! 

I was waling out of the concert thinking: why there were times when I thought that I do not really need this subscription?! Why I thought it being “too much of the same stuff” and sometime boring?!

Continue reading “Music Of The Baroque Concert”

The Rest Of Weekend Activities

To recap the rest of our weekend activities: after the architectural tour, we went to the Chicago Architectural Center – we disembarked right there, and also, Lena didn’t visit it since it moved to this new home. We saw the exhibit of Helmut Jahn, which I saw earlier with my mom, and the permanent exhibit on urban development, which was very interesting.

Continue reading “The Rest Of Weekend Activities”

I Have An Out-Of-Town Guest!

I have a first out-of-town guest who is not a family member! Lena came to visit me from Ann Arbor, and it feels like in the old days, only it is easier now to get to all city attractions. She arrived Friday afternoon, and I started work early in the morning so that I could be done for the day by 3 PM.

After a brief tour of my new place, we headed to the Loop. We went to the Art Institute and saw Obama Portraits and Bisa Butler exhibits; then we went to the Millennium Park for the Classic Broadway concert, and then we strolled the night Riverwalk, and we even had time to have a late-night tea on my balcony!

Continue reading “I Have An Out-Of-Town Guest!”

… And Music Again!

Just a week ago, I wrote about the live concerts, how much I missed them, and how I can’t get enough of them now. But today’s concert stands out even among this season’s excellent programs.
Today, Augustin Haidelich performed Sibelius Violin Concerto, and I do not have proper words to describe my emotions. I didn’t hear of this concert before, and it carried me away from the very first sound. I was so beautiful; I was barely holding tears after ten minutes of the performance.

The music was becoming more and more beautiful with every note. I felt as if my heart is going to explode.
I didn’t know that Sibelius dreamed of becoming a violin virtuoso but lacked the necessary motor skills. In the performance program notes, they cited one of the music critics:

Here is one of the ew concertos that speak Sibelius’s dearest wish to become a great virtuoso Every time this music is performed, the audience hears a love letter written to the violinist Sibelius was never able to become.

I felt it more like an orgy than a love letter, but I can wholeheartedly agree with the level of emotions :).

There was a standing ovation at the end of this piece, and Haidelich went for the encore.

I found multiple recordings of this concerto online.

Music And More Music!

I can’t get enough of live music! I didn’t even realize how much I missed it until I attended the first Grant Park Festival concert! Now, I try to come to each of the concerts, the weather and other circumstances permit:). Today, mom told me she does not want to go. That was probably for the best because it was hot until the concert was over. But boy, how much I enjoyed the music!

I love the comments maestro Calmor makes about composers and specific pieces, even though a couple of times he was wrong :).

Today, he talked about the Mercadante, a composer who wrote sixty operas that nobody performs anymore. The work performed tonight was a Flute Concerto, and it was amazingly good! I could not stop smiling while listening! The Saint-Saëns Symphony No 2 was also unknown to me, so it was another discovery.

To continue on the topic of music, last weekend, I spent a lot of time trying to figure out the next season’s subscriptions. It’s a little bit scary to make such long-term plans because, as we all know, the cases I rising again. But I hope that people will start vaccinating more, after all (the number of vaccinations per day finally started to rise in Illinois), and also – I am perfectly fine wearing a mask both inside and outside, as long as I can do things! That being said, I was figuring out my subscriptions and memberships. I switched to the Family Plus in the Field Museum (and I just realized that Chicago residency gives me a discount!). I subscribed to the CSO Fall season. It turned out that I still had almost a thousand bucks credit from the previous two seasons, although I donated a lot of the unused credits. I only used half of it, and I am planning to subscribe to more family shows. I also subscribed to the Jeoffrey Ballet, bought one ticket to the pre-Broadway run of the Paradise Square, and I think I will also subscribe for several Baroque concerts :).

Seriously, I didn’t realize how much I miss live music!

Now I know how to choose a spot away form the crowd

Grant Park Music Festival Is Back!

The Grant Park Music Festival season opened on July 1, but on that day, the weather was just a little bit too cool for the outdoor evening concert. I decided to give it a shot on Saturday (after returning from the Dunes) even though there was a risk of a big crowd.

And boy, there was a crowd! For a moment, I was questioning the sanity of my decision, especially because I asked mom to come and meet us there, but it turned out great!

We sat on the stairs, which instantly provided more distance. There was a large screen over the stage – new this year, so we could see everything that was going on on stage.

Continue reading “Grant Park Music Festival Is Back!”