Delightful Rachmaninoff and Poe

James Conlon will conduct the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Milwaukee Symphony Chorus in a performance of three highly regarded Sergei Rachmaninoff pieces: Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, the Vesna Cantata, and The Bells on July 21.

The last of these pieces is a musical accompaniment to go along with an Edgar Allen Poe poem, The Bells. The exact story the poem tells has been widely debated. Is it about the different sounds a bell can make and the emotions they stir? Does the poem use the sounds of a bell to show the passing of seasons and thus act as a metaphor on aging? Some have even speculated the poem is the story of a man losing his wife in a fire; and the final section of the poem the man losing his mind in grief. Nobody will ever know what poem was exactly about since it was published after Poe died in 1849. To find out what this story means to you, make sure to come to the performance on July 21st. The concert will begin at 8 pm and take place in the Pavilion.

The full poem can be found here: The Bells

*This concert is a part of the Classical Youth Initiative; and any high school students who show their IDs not only get in free, but also help their school’s fine arts program win an $1,000 grant from Ravinia!


Eddie Pratt

Communications Intern