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Chicago Symphony Orchestra

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The works of the CSO's composer in residence, Augusta Read Thomas, usually have vaguely new age titles--Ritual Incantations, Orbital Beacons, In My Sky at Twilight. The title of her latest, premiering this week, is a little more concrete: Tangle. Thomas composes jangly, energizing music whose fragments veer off in unexpected directions. She writes lots of fizz into her scores--much of which comes from clever instrumental combinations--and isn't afraid to let people enjoy themselves. The occasional dissonance is subsumed under the sheer giddiness of everything else. The three-movement Tangle has the usual symphony orchestra setup along with an extensive percussion section that includes a wide array of instruments and requires four players. The conductor will be David Robertson, who led the crack new-music group Ensemble Intercontemporain from 1992 to 2000 and recorded a sharp CD of Pierre Boulez's orchestral works two years ago. Rounding out the program are Dvorak's ever popular Ninth Symphony (From the New World) and Beethoven's moody Third Piano Concerto, with soloist Elena Bashkirova. Thursday, March 18, 8 PM, Friday, March 19, 1:30 PM, and Saturday, March 20, 8 PM, Orchestra Hall, Symphony Center, 220 S. Michigan; 312-294-3000 or 800-223-7114.

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