This past Saturday nite my friend Peter invited me to
attend the Chiacgo Symphony Orchersta’s performance of
Bethoven’s Ninth Symphony. I’d never heard the
symphony performed live and it had been quite some
time since I had been to Orchestra Hall because the past
few years I’ve been a (very happy) season ticket
holder of the Grant Park Symphony summer series at
The performance was absolutely magnificent. Seventy
two minutes of uninterrupted, sheer bliss, ending with
the choral sensation “Ode to Joy.” Bethoven’s Ninth is
almost as exhausting (in a good way) to listen to as
it must be to perform it.
I was astounded to read in the concert notes that the
debut of the masterwork on May 7,1824 was less than a
resounding sucess and that for several years after
Bethoven’s death the Symphony was considered too
difficut to perform and too long to program easily.
This brings me to Ernst Gamperl.
On June 9th of this month, Luminaire, the indispensable
contemporary furniture retailer, sponsored a lecture by the German
sculptor. Both the lecture and the work were a sheer
revelation and, though I went to the lecture with
every intention of writing about it here, I was so
affected by the sheer beauty and sensuality of the
wooden vases and bowls that I found it difficult to
meaningfully condense the artistic process behind the
work in this limited space.
Well, this morning I decided that my having trouble
condensing is no reason why you shouldn’t go look at
the work for yourself. Heck, even buy the book. You
can thank me for sending you there later.
The vases and bowls, examples of which appear in the
collections of major museums around the world, will be on display
(and for purchase, if your pocketbook allows)
till the week of July 1st at the store on 301 W. Superior.