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Chicago Symphony Orchestra


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Appointed principal cellist of the Cleveland Orchestra at 20, Lynn Harrell has since become one of a handful of upper-echelon soloists. His extensive discography includes a terrific recording on London/Decca of the Dvorak Cello Concerto, a lush, romantic masterpiece from a genre that's surprisingly small. Nearly all the great composers wrote at least one concerto for the violin, but many thought the cello was better suited to chamber music. Even Dvorak didn't like it much--he thought its high notes too nasal, its bottom too growling. Yet his cello concerto remains one of his best and most beloved works--passionate, spontaneous, inventive, and lyrical, with one gorgeous melody after another. It's also one of the most demanding works for the instrument, since much of it sits in the upper register and requires extremely accurate intonation. That's not a problem for Harrell--the phrasing on his recording is well shaped, the dramatic passages have guts, and the frequent mood and color changes are beautifully expressed. Also on the program is Samuel Barber's best-known work, the mournful Adagio for Strings, and Mozart's exuberant Symphony no. 34, with its delicate second movement. James Conlon conducts. $40, $30, $20, $10. Sunday, August 8, 7 PM, Pavilion, Ravinia Festival, Green Bay and Lake Cook Rds., Highland Park; 847-266-5100. Harrell also performs a solo "postlude" concert at approximately 9:30 PM in Ravinia's Martin Theatre.

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