Critic’s Choice

Thu Oct 01, 2015 at 12:56 pm

By Lawrence A. Johnson


Arvo Pärt turned 80 last month and concerts of the great composer’s music are being performed everywhere internationally in 2015-16 to mark the occasion.

Well, almost everywhere. The Chicago Symphony Orchestra is not playing a note of Arvo Pärt’s music in this anniversary season. As with its ignoring of Carl Nielsen’s 150th this year, the CSO once again appears isolated from everything else going on in the music world outside the insular orbit of Planet Muti.

Fortunately, other Chicago music organizations are doing their part for Pärt. The Chicago Chorale will perform several works in November. And the Bella Voce Camerata is opening its season this weekend with one of the Estonian mystic’s most beautiful works, the Berliner Messe (Berlin Mass). J.S. Bach’s influence on Pärt will be noted with the program also including Bach’s motet Singet dem Herrn, and the cantatas Der Herr denket an uns and Widerstehe doch der Sünde.

Performances take place 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Grace Lutheran Church in River Forest and 3:30 p.m. Sunday at St. Clement Parish in Chicago.

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