Critic’s Choice

By Lawrence Budmen

File photo: Todd Rosenberg

File photo: Todd Rosenberg

The Chicago Symphony Orchestra is one of America’s most prestigious ensembles. The CSO makes its first South Florida appearances in a decade on Wednesday and Thursday at the Kravis Center in West Palm Beach. Riccardo Muti, the orchestra’s music director, will be on the podium.

While Muti has been criticized for his conservative programming in Chicago, the two concerts each refreshingly mix a repertoire staple with new or rarely played works. Brahms’ Symphony No. 2 is the familiar offering on Wednesday night’s program. It shares the bill with Stravinsky’s early Scherzo Fantastique and the Concerto for Low Brass by Jennifer Higdon, a recently premiered CSO commission that spotlights the ensemble’s trombone and tuba players.

On Thursday afternoon, principal clarinet Stephen Williamson solos in Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto. Mezzo-soprano Clémentine Margaine, who recently made acclaimed debuts at Lyric Opera of Chicago and the Met, will be soloist in a performance of Chausson’s darkly romantic Poëme de l’amour et de la mer. Muti opens and closes the program with two orchestral works from the operatic stage: the overture to Verdi’s I Vespri Siciliani and Four Sea Interludes from Benjamin Britten’s 20th- century classic Peter Grimes.

Riccardo Muti conducts the Chicago Symphony Orchestra 8 p.m. Wednesday and 2 p.m. Thursday at the Kravis Center in West Palm Beach.


The New World Symphony presents one of the orchestral academy’s most interesting programs of the season this weekend at New World Center. Michael Tilson Thomas conducts early and middle period Stravinsky works–Scenes de Ballet from 1944 and the complete score for The Firebird (1910) rather than the familiar, truncated orchestral suite. In between Leif Ove Andsnes, a pianist whose South Florida appearances have been too few and far between, is soloist in a real rarity, Debussy’s Fantaisie for piano and orchestra.

Michael Tilson Thomas conducts the New World Symphony 8 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday at the New World Center in Miami Beach. nws.edu305-673-3331.


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Mon Feb 12, 2018
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