Today in album covers

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Calm sea and prosperous voyage.

2003 Deutsche Grammophon release featuring recordings between 1964 and 1982, and which brings a whole new meaning to “Keep calm and Karajan.”

Next on dia[loge]s: Bel Canto review, just in time for the holidays and in advance of the opera’s January runs.

Bach marathon follow-up: K.L.E.O. Center

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As previously reported on this blog, the University of Chicago and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra collaborated on an all-day, citywide event which brought Bach’s music to neighborhoods all across Chicago. That “Bach Marathon” came to fruition last Thursday, featuring performances by ensembles from the Civic Orchestra of Chicago in numerous community locations.

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For a brave new world

“Be not afeard. This isle is full of noises,

Sounds, and sweet airs, that give delight and hurt not.

Sometimes a thousand twangling instruments

Will hum about mine ears, and sometimes voices

That, if I then had waked after long sleep,

Will make me sleep again; and then, in dreaming,

The clouds methought would open and show riches

Ready to drop upon me, that when I waked,

I cried to dream again.”

—Caliban, The Tempest, III.iii


“We want great things to happen . . . in every neighborhood”


The Arts Incubator, at the corner of Garfield and Prairie in Washington Park.

This Thursday, the CSO and the University of Chicago are collaborating to put on a citywide “Bach Marathon,” with most performances taking place in neighborhoods on Chicago’s South Side.

I had the good fortune to attend a planning session for the event last month at the University’s Arts Incubator. The Incubator is the brainchild of artist Theaster Gates, who represented the University (Director of Arts + Public Life), while Yo-Yo Ma represented the CSO (Judson and Joyce Green Creative Consultant).

I was totally blown away when I read The New Yorker‘s piece on Gates in high school. Meeting him alongside one of the towering musical personalities of our age was unforgettable.

Event details and more here.