Muti dedicates his Scala return to Italy’s earthquake victims

Muti dedicates his Scala return to Italy’s earthquake victims


norman lebrecht

January 22, 2017

The maestro returned this weekend to Milan with his Chicago Symphony Orchestra, his first performance at La Scala since his angry resignation as music director in 2005.

Graham Spicer reports:

Muti strode to the podium with cries of “Welcome back Maestro!” from the auditorium. He picked up a microphone, though not to comment on his return, but to dedicate the concert to those who have lost their lives during the recent earthquakes. The last big quakes were two days before the concert. There was a minute’s silence.

Suitably, first on the programme was Catalani’s Contemplazione, “…a sad and melancholy piece by a man who would be dead at 39”.

After the closing work – Tchaikovsky’s 4th Symphony – there was an ovation and, after five minutes of applause, Muti lifted his baton for an encore, the same piece he chose after his last concert in the theatre, with the Vienna Philharmonic in 2005:

In 1986, when my hair was still black, and rumours were going around that I dyed it, I began my wonderful years in this theatre with Nabucco. We’d now like to play the overture from that opera.

A standing ovation crowned the evening a true triumph.

Full report here.