Chicago Symphony Orchestra with Mitsuko Uchida | Symphony Center | Classical | Chicago Reader

Chicago Symphony Orchestra with Mitsuko Uchida Soundboard Recommended Critics' Picks

When: Thu., Jan. 27, 8 p.m., Fri., Jan. 28, 8 p.m., Sat., Jan. 29, 8 p.m. and Tue., Feb. 1, 7:30 p.m. 2011

MITSUKO UCHIDA Though Mitsuko Uchida is inextricably linked with the piano music of Mozart, she has a remarkably wide-ranging repertoire that extends through Schoenberg to Pierre Boulez, with whom she's frequently collaborated. For the first portion of her two-week residency with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, however, she'll bring her inimitable Mozart: elegantly phrased, exquisitely refined yet with a varied touch, with equal parts intellect and passion. Watching Uchida conduct from the piano can be breathtaking, even if you don't agree with her interpretive choices—her total immersion in all aspects of the music making while going for broke is riveting. Tonight Friday, Saturday, and Tuesday she'll conduct and play two Mozart concertos, the bright, youthful no. 11 in F and the eloquent no. 21 in C, the latter nicknamed "Elvira Madigan" because its andante movement was used in a 1967 Swedish film of the same name. Between those two pieces, members of the orchestra will play Mozart's Divertimento in B-flat for Strings. The following week she'll join conductor Riccardo Muti as he returns to the CSO for the first time since his illness this fall, to perform Schumann's rapturous Piano Concerto; the composer's Fantasy in C and Davidsbündlertanze, the latter in particular, are excellently rendered on her latest CD, released by Decca in September. The program also includes Cherubini's Overture in G and Shostakovich's powerful Symphony no. 5. Those concerts take place Thu 2/3 and Sat 2/5 (8 PM), Fri 2/4 (1:30 PM), and Tue 2/8 (7:30 PM); tickets range from $23 to $249.

Barbara Yaross

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