Rossini's sacred masterpiece, the Stabat Mater

Jun 20, 2018 493

BY: John von Rhein

Chicago Symphony Orchestra audiences are accustomed to Riccardo Muti’s signing off for the season on a grandly upbeat note, such as he did last year when he closed the subscription series with a festive potpourri of Italian operatic favorites. For this year’s season finale, however, the music director is doing things differently.

The scale remains grand, the music Italian, but this time the tone is solemn and devotional: the stuff of sacred drama rather than theatrical drama. With the weekend performances of Gioachino Rossini’s Stabat Mater, Muti will become one of only three conductors, all Italians, to have performed this sacred masterpiece with the CSO and its remarkable chorus. 

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