Chicago Symphony Orchestra Audio Program Notes are accessible, interesting, and full of information about the works being performed by the CSO as well as the history and personalities behind the music.
Download Program Note PDFs at cso.org/ProgramNotes.
CSO Program Notes: Beethoven 9 Facebook Premiere
Join us for the Beethoven 9 Facebook Premiere!
Riccardo Muti conducts the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Chorus in Beethoven’s most glorious and jubilant masterpiece. An exhilarating testament to the human spirit, Beethoven’s Ninth bursts with brooding power and kinetic energy and culminates in the exultant hymn, “Ode to Joy.”
Learn more: cso.org/beethoven9
CSO Program Notes: Rhapsody In Blue
In a vibrant program of classical music inspired by the jazz revolution of the 20th century, two of George Gershwin’s iconic works are paired with one he undoubtedly influenced, Ravel’s jazzy Piano Concerto in G Major. Ravel’s most famous work, the mesmerizing Boléro, brings the program to a rousing close.
Learn more: https://order.cso.org/9954/
CSO Program Notes: Blomstedt Conducts Brahms 2
After leading a 2018 CSO performance of Beethoven’s Eroica Symphony full of “tensile strength and spirited dynamism” (Chicago Classical Review), distinguished conductor Herbert Blomstedt returns to conduct Brahms’ radiant Second Symphony. “Scintillating and incisive” (The Straits Times) French pianist Bertrand Chamayou makes his CSO debut with Mozart’s delightful Piano Concerto No. 23.
Learn more: https://order.cso.org/9953/
CSO Program Notes: Sibelius & Nielsen: A Nordic Celebration
From its expansive opening to its transcendent climax, Sibelius’ Fifth Symphony is one of the most vivid orchestral works of the 20th century. Finnish conductor Hannu Lintu, in his CSO debut, pairs this with the composer’s best-known work, Finlandia. Pekka Kuusisto performs Nielsen’s spirited Violin Concerto. “Nielsen was a folk fiddler and Kuusisto made it show in the gorgeous looseness of his rhythms and stripped-back grit of his sound” (The Guardian).
Tickets and more info: https://order.cso.org/9952/
CSO Program Notes: Muti Conducts Beethoven 2 & 5
Opening with the most famous four notes in all of classical music, Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony is a staggering masterwork that became a symphonic blueprint for all subsequent composers. Riccardo Muti leads a program that also features the composer’s buoyant, humorous Second Symphony and a world premiere concerto performed by CSO Bass Clarinet J. Lawrie Bloom.
Tickets and more info: https://order.cso.org/9951/
CSO Program Notes: Cavalleria Rusticana
Beloved by opera audiences around the world, Mascagni’s Cavalleria rusticana is an impassioned story of tormented love wrapped in music of fervent vibrancy. Riccardo Muti, whose command of 19th-century Italian opera is “virtually without peer” (Bachtrack), leads concert performances of the complete one-act opera with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Chorus and an international cast.
Really enjoy the history and anecdotes behind each piece on the performance schedule. A good listen even if you're not attending the concert.
This podcast is a great way to learn about an upcoming concert or just learn more about the world of music. It's written with a lot of historical context and good for any music lover or someone who just wants to learn more.