Chicago Symphony Orchestra

Eighty-five-year-old Pierre Boulez conducted the Chicago Symphony Orchestra concert tonight. You’d never guess he was that old by the way he walks on stage and conducts.

We heard Maurice Ravel’s Le tombeau de Couperin, Suite for Orchestra Marc-André Dalbavie’s Flute Concerto (2006) and Béla Bartók’s Bluebeard’s Castle, Opera in One Act (1918). The Ravel was familiar, but the other two were new to me. I enjoyed the program.

Béla Bartók (1927)

Béla Bartók (1927)

The Bartók was a bit long, but I thought it was interesting both as music and as a portrayal of male and female psychology. I was struck by the familiar pattern of the woman trying to find out about the man she loves, to get him to reveal his secrets to her, to open up the doors to his (well-defended) castle. The man resists, but gradually gives in hoping that the woman he loves will be able to save him from himself—from the monster he is or feels he is or was without her love.

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