For many years, Claudio Abbado was Solti and CSO management's first choice for a Solti successor. The rest, as they say, is history. What's done is done; Daniel Barenboim is off to an excellent start with the CSO. Abbado, on the other hand, was offered the other plum of the music world subsequent to his having been overlooked by the CSO: the music directorship of the Berlin Philharmonic, succeeding the late Herbert von Karajan at the helm of what in places other than Chicago is generally considered the world's greatest orchestra. When we see Abbado again in Orchestra Hall it will most likely be when he's on tour with the Berliners. Thus this appearance with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra is a bittersweet affair, and I for one am sick about the fact that the Abbado-CS0 magic is coming to an end. This program is not a particularly distinguished one--he is simply continuing his CSO Tchaikovsky cycle for CBS with the Symphony no. 3 (the Polish), along with the Shostakovich First Violin Concerto with soloist Viktoria Mullova--but its an important concert, for obvious reasons, nonetheless. Tuesday, 7:30 PM, and Thursday and next Friday, February 9, 8 PM, Orchestra Hall, 220 S. Michigan: 435-6666 or 435-8122.