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Classical Mon Jul 30 2012

Pulling Strings: For classical music in Chicago, you got a guy - August 2012

By Elliot Mandel

August: the dog days. As major music ensembles gear up for the next season, the Grant Park Music Festival and Rush Hour Concerts forge through the late summer heat with a final month of great concerts and intriguing programs. It's all free, so check out the schedule and these selected shows.

The Four Seasons of Buenos Aires at Grant Park Music Festival
Astor Piazzolla's Four Seasons of Buenos Aires is one of the most evocative and demanding works for violin, full of dazzling melodies and exotic effects; it remains one of the famed tango composer's most beloved works. Fellow Argentinean Alberto Ginastera composed Estancia to depict rural Argentina life; his infectious rhythms will highlighted in four selected dances. The Three-Cornered Hat from Spanish composer Manuel de Falla is seductive music written for a ballet about lust and revenge. The GMPF moves indoors this weekend to avoid Lollapalooza — no picnics, but an exciting program of Latin-inspired music. Violinist Chee-Yun and mezzo-soprano Sarah Ponder join conductor Carlos Kalmar and the Grant Park Orchestra. Admission is free. Friday, August 3, 6:30pm; Saturday, August 4, 7:30pm. Harris Theater, 205 E. Randolph, Chicago.

Check out Astor Piazzolla playing "Summer" from Four Seasons of Buenos Aires

Brahms Double at Grant Park Music Festival
The Brahms Double Concerto — so called because it features violin and cello soloists accompanied by orchestra — combines solo, duet, and symphonic elements into a work bursting with rich melodies. Frequent GPMF guest violinist Christian Tetzlaff joins his sister, cellist Tanja Tetzlaff in her GPMF debut. Beethoven's tragically-themed Overture to Coriolan opens the program, and Mendelssohn's Symphony No. 1 — with its swings from stormy to sweet to exuberant — closes the Romantic German program. Admission is free. Wednesday, August 8, 6:30pm. Pritzker Pavilion, Millennium Park, Chicago.


Brahms Double Concerto

Spektral Quartet at Rush Hour Concerts
I first saw the Spektral Quartet in the lavish Empty Bottle concert hall. The ensemble brings an acute technical ability and sensitive ear to contemporary works, and its 30-minute performance at Rush Hour of Thomas Adés' "Arcadiana" will surely exemplify this approach. In "Arcadiana," composed in 1994, Adés draws inspiration from land and sea voyages, and even a decent into Hades; his music is at times ethereal and gauzy or violent and fraught with tension. But don't be afraid — a little modern music won't hurt. Admission is free. Tuesday, August 14. Doors and free reception at 5:15pm; concert begins at 5:45pm. St. James Cathedral, corner of Wabash and Huron, Chicago.


"Arcadiana," movement 6

Programs, artists, and prices subject to change. Tickets subject to availability.

Hear a great concert recently? Have a tip on an upcoming show? Talk about it in the comments.

About the author: Elliot Mandel plays cello, attends lots of concerts, writes reviews, takes pictures, loves sports, and still hates back-to-school commercials.

 
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Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

Our Final Transmission Days

By The Gapers Block Transmission Staff

Transmission staffers share their most cherished memories and moments while writing for Gapers Block.

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