To mark the bicentennial of the great Italian composer Giuseppe Verdi, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra presented its first-ever live simulcast: Verdi’s Requiem Mass, performed by CSO Music Director Riccardo Muti, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Chicago Symphony Chorus, with soprano Tatiana Serjan, mezzo-soprano Daniela Barcellona, tenor Mario Zeffiri and bass Ildar Abdrazakov. The performance — on Oct. 10, the exact date of Verdi’s birth— was streamed to thousands worldwide via a partnership of dozens of websites. So far, more than 100,000 have watched the webcast.
Of the simulcast, the New York Times wrote: “Filming orchestra musicians up close can be problematic, resulting in endless shots of wind players with puffed-out cheeks and string players sawing away. But the camera crew at Orchestra Hall found a more creative balance, capturing the flying bows during the Tuba Mirum and the fierce commitment in the face of the percussionist during the Dies Irae. … This [performance] proved a rewarding interpretation. Alluring dynamic contrasts and shadings rendered the performance exciting and moving by turns, with impeccable playing from the orchestra and exemplary singing by the Chicago Symphony Chorus.”