Sacred Masterworks by Poulenc & Gounod

Oct 5

8:00 PM

Prokofiev, Poulenc, Gounod

Thursday, October 5, 2017

French conductor Alain Altinoglu leads a program of richly scored works, including Poulenc’s joyfully devotional Gloria. The power of Gounod’s Saint Cecilia Mass is best described by his contemporary Saint-Saëns: “This simplicity, this grandeur, this serene light which rose before the musical world like a breaking dawn…at first one was dazzled, then charmed, then conquered.”

Approximate concert duration: 125 minutes including intermission


Prokofiev Suite from The Love for Three Oranges
Poulenc Gloria
Gounod Saint Cecilia Mass


Preconcert conversation with John Nygro
30 minute run-time


Additional Dates for this Program

To get a sense of French composer Charles Gounod’s fame in the 19th century, consider that Camille Saint-Saëns played the organ at his funeral and Gabriel Fauré served as conductor. While the names of his two loyal friends remain bright stars in music history, Gounod has fallen into semi-obscurity. He is best known today for his “Ave Maria” and his operas Faust and Romeo and Juliet. Read more at CSO Sounds & Stories

Of Poulenc's Gloria and Gounod's St. Cecilia's Mass, soprano Sandrine Piau observes: “There is something very French in both of them — this transparency. The soprano voice is used in Gounod, as in Poulenc, like an angel. ... When I sing this Gloria of Poulenc, it’s really hard for me not to cry. It's so emotional." Read more at CSO Sounds & Stories

Watching the animated movie “The Aristocats” (or “Les Aristochats,” as it is known in France) led a young Sandrine Piau to pick up the harp. But then she was drawn to a Baroque vocal studies program led by early-music specialist William Christie, who told her: “Trust me, you will be a singer. You can do this.” From there, she has gone on to become one of France’s best-known and most-recorded classical artists. Read more at CSO Sounds & Stories


Global Sponsor of the CSO

The Saturday evening concert is generously sponsored in part by members of the Orchestra, Chorus and Staff of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association.

Support for the 60th Anniversary of the Chicago Symphony Chorus is provided by the Walter E. Heller Foundation in honor of Alyce DeCosta.

The appearance of the Chicago Symphony Chorus is made possible by a generous gift from Jim and Kay Mabie.