Arts & Culture » Theater Critic's Choice

Civic Orchestra of Chicago

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I'm envious of the young apprentices of the Civic Orchestra. In October, Daniel Barenboim led them through a couple of rehearsals; last Sunday, Pierre Boulez dropped in to offer tips on how to approach Mahler's Sixth Symphony, the same treat he gave the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in the subscription concerts; and now Zubin Mehta, erstwhile director of the New York Philharmonic and the conductor-for-life of the Israel Philharmonic, will guide them through a concert devoted to late-19th-century pictorialism. Ravel's orchestration of Mussorgsky's 1874 piano composition Pictures at an Exhibition offers ten vivid musical tableaux alone. Then there's Liszt's tone poem Orpheus, written in 1854 as a curtain raiser for a production of Gluck's opera Orfeo and largely forgotten today. Dabs of Russian folk color are provided in Tchaikovsky's famous Violin Concerto, a perennial concert favorite. Rachel Barton, a product of the North Shore and a Civic Orchestra member, is the soloist in the concerto. A preconcert conversation starts at 1:30. Sunday, 3 PM, Orchestra Hall, 220 S. Michigan; 435-6666.

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