CSO at the Movies Series: Worth the Trip

CSO at the Movies Series: Worth the Trip
CSO At the Movies. Photo credit: Todd Rosenberg Photography

Night one of the two night CSO at the Movies series of The Godfather Live went off without a hitch.

On a cold, wet, blizzardy Chicago night with the falling ice signs standing sentinel on city sidewalks warning of impending danger from above—Symphony Center was mobbed with music and movie lovers.

These men and women had braved the elements to see Francis Ford Coppola’s Academy Award ®– winning film The Godfather accompanied by a live performance of the score in the CSO at the Movies series.

This is what I love about Chicago—our willingness to plow through whatever might seemingly stand in our way to do what we want to do.

There’s a reason they call us Chicago tough.

As I was navigating my way to the theater Tuesday evening, climbing over piles of snow after our near 20” one-punch blizzard Sunday followed by this new stream of sideways flying flakes and doubling my commute time, I marveled as Chicago was abuzz just like any other day—taking it all in stride.

I can’t speak for everyone, but for those inside Symphony Center a reward for their journey was in store.

As we took our seats (the 3 hour and 20 minute performance started promptly at 7 p.m.) we began our symphonic journey through the trials and tribulations of the Corleone family and mafia mania unplugged.

Watching and listening to this masterpiece of a film accompanied by one of the world’s best orchestras in the acoustically perfect Symphony Center is a rare treat.

Not every film’s score deserves such royal treatment but the pairing of The Godfather film with the CSO orchestra is symphonic genius. While “The Godfather” played on the big screen, the orchestra sat on the stage below, attentive and at the ready to perform the score melding it seamlessly to the film.

It is not an easy feat to sync the score exactly to the film, but under the direction of conductor Justin Freer  (a veteran of live concert performances of film through his CineConcerts company), the CSO orchestra played Nino Rota’s score flawlessly.

Tonight is the second and final performance of The Godfather Live at the CSO. Limited tickets are still available with prices ranging from $65 to $165.

The At the Movie series has two more shows on tap for its 2014-2015 season and will be announcing the films for the 2015-2016 series in the near future.

  • Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey will be presented on Friday, March 13, at 8 p.m. The program will feature the CSO and Chorus under conductor André de Ridder in a score that brought worldwide fame to Richard Strauss. Tickets: $50-$199
  • Fritz Lang’s Metropolis will be presented on Friday, May 29, at 8 p.m. in a unique event that highlights this genre-defying, science fiction masterpiece set to music by composers from the silent film period including selections by Arnold Schoenberg, Edward Grieg and Béla Bartók. Tickets: $34-$110.

Tickets can be purchased at the Symphony Center box office: 220 S. Michigan Ave., by phone at 800-223-7114 or online.  Subscriptions for the three-concert CSO at the Movies series are another option.

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Filed under: CSO

Tags: CSO at the Movies, The Godfather

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