An encore presentation of Verdi’s Requiem with Riccardo Muti leading the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, recorded live in 2013, will be streamed May 22-24 on cso.org and the CSO’s social media channels.
The work will be presented in a digital premiere May 22 at 7:30 p.m. (Central) at cso.org/verdi and on the CSO’s Facebook and YouTube channels, and then followed by watch parties May 23 at 7:30 p.m. and May 24 at 1:30 p.m. on Facebook. The encore events, organized by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association in response to the COVID-19 pandemic that has disrupted live performances worldwide, will be dedicated to victims of the disease. The encore run also coincides with the anniversary of the Requiem’s world premiere on May 22, 1874, and anticipates the national holiday Memorial Day on May 25.
All three Requiem events will be interactive. The Facebook Premiere May 22 will allow listeners to share in a virtual concert experience through online program note and live chats. Watch parties on May 23-24 also will offer live chats during the performance.
A signature work for Muti and the CSO and Chorus, Verdi’s Requiem has been performed to critical acclaim several times during his tenure, including subscription concerts in Chicago and international tour performances at Tokyo’s Bunka Kaikan in 2019 and at Vienna’s Musikverein in 2014 and 2020. The 2010 CSO Resound recording of Verdi’s Requiem featuring Muti and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Chorus won two Grammy Awards for Best Classical Album and Best Choral Performance.
Written as a tribute to two significant figures in 19th-century Italian culture, the composer Gioachino Rossini and the poet- writer Alessandro Manzoni, the Requiem remains one of Verdi’s most popular works. It showcases the composer’s unrivaled mastery of musical drama and vocal writing. Verdi conducted the world premiere in Milan in 1874, on the one-year anniversary of Manzoni’s death.
Vocal soloists in the October 2013 performance were Tatiana Serjan (soprano), Daniela Barcellona (mezzo-soprano), Mario Zeffiri (tenor) and Ildar Abdrazakov (bass). The Chicago Symphony Chorus was prepared by Chorus Director Duain Wolfe.
The encore presentation follows a Facebook Premiere event April 12 featuring the CSO’s 2014 performance of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, which attracted audiences across the United States and more than 20 countries. It is also part of expanded audio and video content accessible through the CSO From Home content portal, cso.org/csofromhome. The portal features the new CSO radio series From the CSO’s Archives: Maestro’s Choice, presented with WFMT-FM, and personal video messages from CSO musicians, which also are being posted on the CSO’s Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube channels. More digital content will continue to be posted online throughout 2020.
TOP: Riccardo Muti leads the CSO, Chorus and guest vocalists in Verdi’s Requiem in fall 2013. | ©Todd Rosenberg Photography 2013