Chicago Symphiny Orchestra | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Chicago Symphiny Orchestra 

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One of the more charismatic and sought-after young maestros of the past decade, Riccardo Chailly is concluding a two-week Ravinia stint this weekend. The Italian conductor has won accolades for reinvigorating Amsterdam's Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, and his recording of works by avant-garde composer Luciano Berio reveals a deep understanding of the complexity of contemporary music. In Friday's concert Chailly will lead the CSO in its first performance of Philip Glass's 1989 Concerto for Violin. The half-hour work exemplifies Glass's brand of minimalism--Indian-influenced rhythmic and melodic schemes layered over pattern repetitions gleaned from North African music. Elusive violin melodies float ethereally over the orchestra's slightly shifting chordal progressions, a trademark Glass sound appropriated by so many TV commercials that it's become a cliche. The soloist in this Chicago-area premiere is Gidon Kremer, Mr. Intensity, who can be counted on to flawlessly convey the music's metrical nuances. Also on the program is a curiosity, Gershwin's Cuban Overture, and a perennial favorite, Dvorak's New World Symphony. Chailly's Saturday concert features the local debut of another keyboard prodigy (20-year-old Eldar Nebolsin, tackling Chopin's Piano Concerto no. 1) and a rare chance to hear Stravinsky's Scherzo fantastique. On Sunday Chailly and the CSO offer yet another performance of Mahler's Symphony no. 7--there must be a better way to spend two hours. Friday and Saturday, 8 PM, pavilion, Ravinia Festival, Green Bay and Lake Cook Rds., Highland Park; 728-4642.

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