Another rehearsal with Maestro Muti in the books! Last night marked the first official event of Maestro Muti’s residency in Chicago for this month – an open rehearsal of Tchaikovsky’s 4th Symphony (first two movements) for the 2017 Chicago Youth in Music Festival.
I still can’t get over how much I learn from attending these rehearsals, even as an audience member. I swear – besides the fact that Maestro Muti knows, from “50” (as he said) years of experience, how to conduct this piece and how to draw the best from the musicians – he really makes these rehearsals a phenomenal educational experience. I could go on and on about the many different topics Maestro Muti talked about last night, ranging from anecdotes about Toscanini and Richter, the Italian influence on classical music, to the traditions of the old school of music. But, regardless of this wealth and depth of knowledge, I think what really makes him great is that he approaches these rehearsals with an aim to teach (or at least that’s how it comes across). For example, he made this one (pedagogical) point about what it means in Tchaikovsky’s music if the tempo is marked as con anima vs. the term animato (e.g. “allegro con anima” vs. “allegro animato“). It may not seem to be that huge or significant of a difference upon first inspection, but when you really examine the meaning of the words and how that sits in the context of what Tchaikovsky was trying to get across through the music, it really does make a world of difference. Maestro Muti was really able to illustrate this concept (and many others) in very clear and concise manner, and as a result, I just walk away being amazed every single time.
Afterwards, I headed backstage to say hi to Maestro Muti, and he treated all of us with another mini-lecture on the history of music (e.g. Paisiello and Napoleon) – really, just a great way to start off this week! However, I am definitely looking forward to next week because Gerard Depardieu (aka Cyrano de Bergerac!!) will be in town to narrate the CSO’s performances of Prokofiev’s Ivan the Terrible with Maestro Muti conducting. My French might just come in handy next week, if I’m lucky 😀
To see some photos of last night’s rehearsal, check out this entry on Maestro Muti’s website (which is really well-designed 😀 )!