* Notes *
Last weekend Jonathan Nott (pictured left, photograph by Thomas Müller) conducted Chicago Symphony Orchestra in a program of Schoenberg's Piano Concerto and Mahler's Das Lied von der Erde. The concert started with the former, the soloist being Pierre-Laurent Aimard, who played with clarity. The orchestra sounded neat and together. Schoenberg's music tends to put pressure on my sinuses, perhaps it is simply tension, and after the piano concerto was over, I sneezed three times in quick succession. Das Lied von der Erde was more engaging, even if we happened to be sitting on the wrong side of the singers. It felt a bit as if we were part of the brass section. Stuart Skelton's voice was not quite expansive enough to be heard that distinctly from the Center Terrace, but his sound is pretty and his diction comprehensible. Michelle DeYoung was perfectly audible, her voice has an interesting metallic quality, and she sang the last part rather well.
* Tattling *
The audience completely quiet for the Schoenberg, but some talking was heard during the Mahler. A few people on the Orchestra Level were clearly asleep, but one young man near the front was rapt by DeYoung's performance.