The latest release on CSO Resound, the house label of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, features works by two modern masters: Schoenberg’s Kol Nidre and Shostakovich’s Suite on Verses of Michelangelo Buonarroti. The seventh CSO Resound recording with Music Director Riccardo Muti, it captures live performances in Orchestra Hall from March and June 2012. The recording is available in the United States via retail and online outlets beginning Sept. 30, and internationally on Oct. 7.
Kol Nidre showcases Muti conducting the CSO and the Chicago Symphony Chorus, with renowned interpreter of Jewish music Alberto Mizrahi as the narrator. Internationally acclaimed Russian bass Ildar Abdrazakov is the soloist in Suite on Verses of Michelangelo Buonarroti.
Arnold Schoenberg composed his Kol Nidre in 1938 at the request of Rabbi Jacob Sonderling of the Los Angeles-based Fairfax Temple. The Kol Nidre is a statement of faith associated with the eve of Yom Kippur — the Day of Atonement, the most solemn of Jewish holidays. Receiving its world premiere only a month after the Kristallnacht in Nazi Germany, Kol Nidre is a liturgical work in which a rabbi engages in reverent dialogue with a chorus.
Composed in 1974 for bass and piano, Dmitri Shostakovich’s Suite on Verses of Michelangelo Buonarroti was later scored for full orchestra. Shostakovich regarded the suite in its final version as his last symphony. He died on Aug. 9, 1975, before the orchestral version could receive its premiere. Written in part to mark the fifth centenary of Michelangelo’s birth, the suite features settings of 11 poems by the Italian artist and writer on topics ranging from love and creativity to death and exile. Shostakovich’s spare settings of these verses underscore the gravity of the suite’s heavier themes; those themes had personal relevance to the dying composer, who had lived nearly his entire life under Soviet rule.
The recording was engineered by Christopher Willis, mastered by Silas Brown and produced by David Frost, all of whom are Grammy Award winners. Previously with the CSO, Frost produced CSO Resound albums of music by Verdi, Berlioz and Prokofiev, and former CSO Mead composers-in-Residence Mason Bates and Anna Clyne, all conducted by Muti, as well as a collection of works performed by the CSO Brass.
To read the liner notes, biographies and texts in PDF format, click here.
To read the liner notes, bios and texts for this release on Sounds & Stories, click here.
For a French translation of Shostakovich’s Suite on Verses of Michelangelo Buonarroti, click here.