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Classical Thu Nov 01 2012

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

Plenty of great music this month, but my favorites happen within a five-day span. Just like Thanksgiving, there is something for everyone — you can even bring booze.

Spektral Quartet
At this point, if you haven't yet seen the Spektral Quartet, you are missing out on one of the most unique concert experiences in Chicago. Even if you are unfamiliar with Elliott Carter's music, how can you pass up a chance to hear "bouts of impetuousness and vehemence" in his Quartet No. 2? Mix in Haydn's much-loved "Kaiser" String Quartet and Verdi's String Quartet in E Minor — he wrote more than opera — and you have a quintessential Spektral program full of adventurous programming backed by some of the sharpest string playing around. Oh, and it's BYOB. Really. Tickets are $15 in advance, $20 at the door, $10 with valid student ID. Wednesday, November 14, 7:30pm. National Pastime Theatre, 941 W. Lawrence, 4th floor, Chicago.


Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Even 100 years after its premiere, Stravinsky's Rite of Spring remains one of the baddest, scariest pieces ever written. The brutality of the story — a virgin girl dances to her death — and the score's musical violence predicts a century of chaos and destruction. The CSO plays the Rite with thunderous swagger while never losing the intricate jazz harmonies from early 20th-Century Paris. The program opens with Mussorgsky's A Night on Bald Mountain, followed by Tchaikovsky's towering Piano Concerto No. 1 featuring Daniil Trifonov, one of Russia's bright, young talents. Charles Dutoit conducts. Tickets start at $40. Wednesday, November 14, 7:30pm; Thursday, November 15 and Saturday, November 17, 8pm. Symphony Center, 220 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago.

Chicago-based cellist Wendy Warner and Moscow native and pianist Irina Nuzova have an extraordinary connection as recital partners. Warner's lush tone is perhaps a result of training with the great Russian cellist Mstislav Rostropovich; Nuzova's nimble playing is the perfect complement. Together, their sound radiates with warmth and energy. Head to Evanston for WarnerNuzova's performance of Beethoven, Janáček, and Prokofiev. Tickets are $30 for adults, $20 for seniors, $10 for students. Saturday, November 17, 7:30pm. Nichols Concert Hall, 1490 Chicago Ave., Evanston.

Music of the Baroque
The history of orchestral music is impossible to imagine without J.S. Bach. His influence extends so far out of his time that calling his music "Baroque" seems too confining. Indeed, when Nicholas Kraemer and the specialists of Music of the Baroque play Bach, his music is filled with a buoyancy and verve that keeps it fresh and alive. MOB's all-Bach performance should not be missed by anyone who can't get enough of the Fantastic Fuguist, the King of Counterpoint — you get the idea. Tickets start at $27. Monday, November 19, 7:30pm. Harris Theater for Music and Dance, 205 E. Randolph, Chicago.

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 but is really mad at hockey.

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soundcheck / November 10, 2012 12:21 PM

Time to branch out for more than the professionally marketed brand names in the local classical scene. There's a lot out there in the semi-professional category, especially in areas of choral, chamber, and early/period music genres. Just this weekend, you could catch a trio of organists celebrating the music of Louis Vierne at St. Chrysostom's Church on Dearborn Parkway (it's free), attend two Cedille CD release events for Gaudete Brass Quintet (and maybe win the raffle bicycle), or a concert ostensibly to mark the 60th birthday of local stalwart on harpsichord or organ, David Schrader. Not long afterwards in December, listen to the a cappella (in the true sense of that term) artistry in the mediaeval sound of Schola Antiqua. I would love to see any of these covered here.

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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.

Read this feature »


  Chicago Music Media

Alarm Magazine
Big Rock Candy Mountain
Boxx Magazine
Brooklyn Vegan Chicago
Can You See The Sunset From The Southside
Chicago Reader Music
Chicagoist Arts & Events
Chicago Music Guide
Chicago Singles Club
Country Music Chicago
Cream Team
Dark Jive
The Deli Chicago
Jim DeRogatis
Fake Shore Drive
Gowhere Hip Hop
The Hood Internet
Jaded in Chicago
Largehearted Boy
Little White Earbuds
Live Fix Blog
Live Music Blog
Loud Loop Press
Oh My Rockness
Pop 'stache
Pop Matters
Resident Advisor
Sound Opinions
Sun-Times Music Blog
Theft Liable to Prosecution
Tribune Music
UR Chicago
Victim Of Time
WFMU's Beware of the Blog
Windy City Rock


Abbey Pub
Andy's Jazz Club
Aragon Ballroom
Auditorium Theatre
Beat Kitchen
Bottom Lounge
Buddy Guy's Legends
The Burlington
California Clipper
Concord Music Hall
Congress Theater
Cubby Bear
Double Door
Elbo Room
Empty Bottle
Green Mill
The Hideout
Honky Tonk BBQ
House of Blues
Kingston Mines
Lincoln Hall
Logan Square Auditorium
Mayne Stage
The Mutiny
Old Town School of Folk Music
Park West
The Promontory
Red Line Tap
Reggie's Rock Club & Music Joint
The Riviera
Thalia Hall
The Shrine
Symphony Center
Tonic Room
Uncommon Ground
The Vic
The Whistler

  Labels, Promoters
  & Shops:

Alligator Records
Beverly Records
Bloodshot Records
Dave's Records
Delmark Records
Drag City
Dusty Groove
Flameshovel Records
Groove Distribution
He Who Corrupts
Jam Productions
Jazz Record Mart
Kranky Records
Laurie's Planet of Sound
Minty Fresh
Numero Group
mP Shows
Permanent Records
Reckless Records
Smog Veil Records
Southport & Northport Records
Thick Records
Thrill Jockey Records Touch & Go/Quarterstick Records
Victory Records

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