Beyond the Score Falla Concert – Last in Highly Regarded Series

The program book used some of the impressionist painting images of Spain we saw in the program. Program Book Design: Todd Land. Photo: Peter Kachergis


During the intermission, a beloved CSO and Grant Park Music Festival usher lamented the end of Beyond the Score and shared that maybe its Creative Director Gerard McBurney had just run out of composers to profile.  That explanation had never occurred to this writer, who instead clings to McBurney’s words when he made the announcement that a “son of Beyond the Score…” was in the works.   (Read the Chicago-Splash retrospective of the CSO’s Beyond the Score series here.)


Manuel de Falla and the sounds of Spain were the subject of this last Beyond the Score presentation.  Actually, it was not just the sounds of Spain but also a pairing with Lorca’s poetry and many impressionist paintings of Spain—from the grandeur of the Alhambra to the gardens that inspired Falla’s work “Nights in the Garden of Spain” (Projection Design: Mike Tutaj).  


The program book used some of the impressionist painting images of Spain we saw in the program. Program Book Design: Todd Land. Photo: Peter Kachergis


The narration- by McBurney along with Chicago actors Sandra Delgado and Matthew Krause – largely relied on Falla’s own words and the words of those who knew him to convey how he thought of music.   The influences that Debussy,

Wagner and other leading composers had on him were interwoven with discussion of cante jondo, the iconic gypsy sounds that so trademark Falla’s work as from a Spanish soul. 


Chalres Dutoit conducting. Photo: Todd Rosenberg


The absolute delight of this Beyond the Score performance came in the second act, when spirited conductor Charles Dutoit, dressed in a leather suit that in the context of this so-Spanish sounding music combined with his regal bearing reminded of a matador.  Watching Dutoit, we could feel both the many transitions in the score as well its overall continuity and its so very Spanish soul.  


Chalres Dutoit conducting. Photo: Aline Paley


This post-presentation performance included two suites from Falla’s “Three Cornered Hat” and the entire “Nights in the Garden of Spain” featuring the acclaimed pianist Javier Perianes.  (Read the review of the longer Dutoit /Falla performance by Splash journalist Debra Davy here.)


To hear “Nights in the Garden of Spain” under the baton of Daniel Barenboim listen to this Youtube video  recording—



And to hear Falla’s “Three Cornered Hat”, under the baton of Chicago’s Carlos Kolmar, a work that the Grant Park Music Festival has also presented in the past, listen to this Youtube recording of him conducting another orchestra—



CSO Fans take note:  As we were entering Symphony Center we were handed a flyer for a benefit concert on June 13, 2016 with Riccardo Muti conducting Chicago Symphony Musicians to benefit the Greater Chicago Food Depository.  That program includes Rossini’s “William Tell Overture”, Mozart’s “Clarinet Concerto”, and Beethoven’s “Symphony No. 5”.   It will be held at the Studebaker Theater, 410 S Michigan, Chicago and tickets can be purchased online at the Studebaker Theater website.


For tickets to upcoming CSO performances visit the CSO website or call the CSO Box Office at 312 294 3000.



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