From one championship team to another: Riccardo Muti and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra capped off a day of celebration by saluting the Stanley Cup-winning Chicago Blackhawks with a surprise reprise of the anthem “Chelsea Dagger.”
Hours after the Hawks victory parade and rally drew thousands to the city’s downtown streets and Soldier Field, the CSO offered its own symphonic tusch to the NHL champs during its season-finale program June 18 at Orchestra Hall. After intermission, Muti thanked the audience for its warm reception to the world-premiere performance of Mason Bates’ Anthology of Fantastic Zoology in the concert’s first half and then jokingly hoped the crowd would have some enthusiasm left for Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 5 in the second. “And then we must not [forget] … that I will turn 74 next month!” he said, stoking the anticipation factor. “And of course, we must not ignore … the Blackhawks!”
With that, he turned to the CSO, and they launched into the Hawks’ “Chelsea Dagger,” as stagehands waved banners from the wings. Though Muti and the CSO created a viral sensation when they first tackled the anthem during the Hawks’ championship run in 2013, that version was good — to paraphrase the song’s lyrics — but this was hot.
Watch the video, by Todd Rosenberg, and judge for yourself. The program — sans “Dagger” — repeats June 19-20.
PHOTO: Maestro Muti waves a Hawks T-shirt after the CSO performs “Chelsea Dagger” on June 18, 2015. | Todd Rosenberg Photography 2015