Chicago Symphony: Riccardo Muti Conducts Rossini and Cherubini

On this Chicago Symphony Orchestra broadcast, Riccardo Muti leads the CSO and Chorus in the Rossini Stabat mater, one of the composer’s most stirring and evocative scores. The program also includes Mozart’s Kyrie in D Minor and Cherubini’s Chant sur la mort de Joseph Haydn.

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Mozart: Kyrie in D minor is a seven-minute shot of intense, somber emotions, written for chorus and orchestra. And we have no idea how it came to be. The composer never mentioned it in his letters. There were evidently no reviews of the piece, and it’s nowhere to be found in a catalog of works that Mozart kept. The score was published after his death but the manuscript has long been missing. Listen above to learn more about its genesis.

Cherubini: Chant sur la mort de Joseph Haydn
In 1805, Luigi Cherubini received a commission to write a funeral cantata for Joseph Haydn. Cherubini was a big fan of Haydn: The two composers were fellow freemasons, and they’d met earlier that year when the Frenchman presented his colleague with an honorary diploma from the Paris Conservatory. So Cherubini got to work, setting verses from a French poem about the death of a swan on the banks of the Danube. He called his cantata Chant sur la mort de Joseph Haydn — dirge on the death of Joseph Haydn. But there was one problem: Haydn wasn’t dead yet.

Rossini: Stabat Mater
After composing 39 operas, many phenomenally successful, Gioachino Rossini surprised the music world by announcing his retirement. He was just 37. But just as he was settling into a comfortable life as a foodie and bon vivant, he accepted a new commission. During a trip to Madrid, a Spanish cleric asked him to compose a setting of the Stabat Mater, the 13th century Latin poem about the Virgin Mary grieving at the cross of Jesus.

Mozart Kyrie in D Minor, K. 341
Chicago Symphony Chorus
Duain Wolfe, director

Cherubini Chant sur la mort de Joseph Haydn
Krassimira Stoyanova, soprano
Dmitry Korchak, tenor
Enea Scala, tenor
Chicago Symphony Chorus
Duain Wolfe, director

Rossini Stabat mater
Krassimira Stoyanova, soprano
Ekaterina Gubanova, mezzo-soprano
Dmitry Korchak, tenor
Eric Owens, bass
Chicago Symphony Chorus
Duain Wolfe, director

Riccardo Muti, conductor
Originally recorded at concerts in  June 2018

Rossini Overture to William Tell
Riccardo Muti, conductor
Originally recorded at concerts in September 2017

This program will be available until March 10, 2020. Discover other CSO Radio Broadcasts.

Photo: Riccardo Muti leads the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Chorus  | © Todd Rosenberg 2017