Millennium Park was buzzing with hype and anticipation Sunday evening as thousands of people who had never seen the CSO joined thousands of regular subscribers for the inauguration of Muti's tenure as music director. But, to actually see them, let alone hear them, you had to get there early.
[I had to park my bike across Michigan avenue at the bike-shaped bike racks. Parking at Symphony Center or the Lyric is so much easier.]
The first half I mostly couldn't hear. I found my friend Amos (whose piece was performed Saturday), and I wanted to hear about how the concert went. Then they tempted me to stay with some fried chicken. I had thought I heard some Strauss, but it was actually Verdi.
The second half, I stood behind the crowd of standees and studied the crowd--an interesting mix of people. I was impressed that so many people came from all over the city--and in from the burbs--but wished that they could get a little closer. I imagined the people in the lawn (and certainly in the real seats) as life-long subscribers whose presence kept the more casual symphony fans from further developing their passion. Were the died-in-the-wool symphony fans just being greedy? Won't they get to see Muti plenty of times this season?
Nevertheless, I overheard some very positive responses to the concert from the SRO peanut gallery. And talked with some people who said it sounded like Fantasia.
I'm not that good at anagrams, so I cheat.