Muti, CSO draw accolades on European tour

Wed Jan 22, 2014 at 2:14 pm

By Lawrence A. Johnson

Riccardo Muti conducts the CSO at the Alfredo Kraus Auditorium in Tenerife last week. Photo: Todd Rosenberg

Riccardo Muti and the CSO received extensive coverage and rave reviews from the European press on this month’s tour. Here are a few translated excerpts from the Canary Island concerts.

La Provinci
G. García Alcalde
Las Palmas de Gran Canaria

The Chicago Symphony, the only one of the international “elite” which had not visited the Festival, gave us what we expected: admirable cohesion of the sections and the tutti, magnificence in the sound of the brass –perhaps the best in the world, the warm, powerful sound and well-balanced dynamic in the strings, melting with the sound of the woodwind section rich in first-class players, two excellent harps and a percussion family as accurate in the subtleties as in the most thickly scored passages.

José Sampedro
La Opinión de Tenerife
Las Palmas de Gran Canaria

 The two programs performed by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra [in the Canary Islands Music Festival] allowed us to enjoy one of the best musical ensembles in the world. And this, thanks to the quality of all sections of the Orchestra: the strings gave the sound demanded by the composer while the brass and the woodwinds showed overwhelming tuning and musicality. In addition, we could always hear perfectly both the main melody and the accompaniment, the brass never covering the strings.

[Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5  was] an unforgettable version of this masterpiece, celebrated with a thunderous ovation from the audience.

Maestro Muti successfully performed a balanced and contrasted version of this immortal composition that will not soon be forgotten.


On the tour the CSO’s music director also spoke of his concern that Europe’s economic problems are affecting government funding of the arts there.

“To remove access to culture is to hurt the people,” said Muti at a press conference in Las Palmas,.  We all know that when there are dictators, they try to remove culture from the soul of people.

“Culture does not exist to yield profit. The cost of a major symphony orchestra is far less than the cost of a football player.  Culture helps people win in spirituality.”

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