Concert Review: Muti returns to Chicago Symphony with “Otello”

Posted on: April 14, 2011

In last Friday’s (4/8) Chicago Tribune, John von Rhein writes, “After all the uncertainties of the past two months surrounding Riccardo Muti’s health, the buzz of anticipation ran understandably higher than usual Thursday night at Orchestra Hall. The music director was conducting his first subscription concert with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra since fainting and tumbling from the podium onto his face during a CSO rehearsal in early February. All seats had been sold out for months. But as soon as Muti, with a flick of his baton, summoned the thunderous opening chords of the storm music that begins Giuseppe Verdi’s ‘Otello,’ any lingering concerns about his physical condition vanished. The greatest Verdi conductor of our time was on fire, and so were the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Chorus in this concert performance. Verdi’s music has long brought out Muti’s most eloquent musicianship and masterly control of the largest forces. … His conducting conjured storm and calm moonlight and stars. … Everything was of a musical piece so that the drama moved in an unbroken trajectory from the powerful opening music to Otello’s dying sobs at the end.” Muti and the CSO perform Otello on Friday at New York’s Carnegie Hall.

Posted April 14, 2011