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The Sounds and the Stories: CSO Premieres Online Magazine

By Marielle Shaw in Arts & Entertainment on Dec 21, 2013 7:30PM

Photo credit: Melody J Kramer

Don’t call it a webzine. Mostly because we hate that term. The term we’re going with is the more formal “online magazine.” The Chicago Symphony Orchestra has recently debuted “CSO Sounds and Stories.” It's exactly what it sounds like: CSO Sounds and Stories offers a deeper look into what’s going on behind the scenes.

We poked and prodded at it for a bit and found it to be a great resource to get more acquainted with the CSO's programs, musicians, and repertoire. You can start with CSO radio for a chance to hear pieces from performances you may have missed. At the same time, you can also see at what’s upcoming for the symphony. There are program notes from recent performances, audio and text, and there’s a series we particularly enjoyed on the new music being worked on by composers collaborating with the orchestra.

We turned on a little bit of Mahler, read up on some Schubert for this upcoming season’s Schubertiade, and then found an interesting video on the work Mason Bates is doing which is inspired by the Carbon and Carbide building that features antiphonal cello in which 12 "carbon copy" cellos sound from various places in the room for an acoustic stereo type effect.

Another interesting feature is the Beyond the Score series, which gives history and additional information on pieces the CSO has recently played and intimate looks into the composer’s lives as they wrote.

Overall, we thought the site was well-organized and definitely had enough content to warrant a visit. It’s a good place to get your feet wet if you’re planning a first visit, and a great place to immerse yourself in all things CSO if you’re already a fan. Check it out here and make plans to see some of the exciting performances 2014 has to offer.