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EOS Orchestra

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EOS ORCHESTRA

Since its founding in 1995, the Eos Orchestra has been making waves. Its inaugural program was a survey of obscure film and dance music composed in the 1940s by author Paul Bowles; since then it's given the world premiere of a concert version of Bernstein's 1974 ballet, Dybbuk, presented a bill (and published a book) outlining the commonalities between minimalist and Baroque music, and performed an exhaustive survey of Copland that blew the dust off some of his rarely revived works. The New York-based chamber orchestra also collaborates with dancers and video artists, and this year it's been reviving the music of film composer Bernard Herrmann, best known for his contributions to Citizen Kane and Psycho. (Eos founder and conductor Jonathan Sheffer has followed a career path similar to Herrmann's, shuttling between Hollywood studios and concert halls; he's served as studio conductor for Alien3, Titus, and many other movies, as well as scoring for film, TV, and theater.) The Eos Orchestra has already produced a handful of indispensable recordings, like Gershwin: Complete Works for Piano and Orchestra, which includes the unjustly neglected Second Rhapsody, and Music for Merce, which collects for the first time many of the compositions Merce Cunningham used in his dances, among them works by John Cage and Morton Feldman. And though the ensemble isn't a particularly persuasive interpreter of well-trafficked classical works, its performances of anything from the early 20th century on tend to be bracingly fresh and extroverted. This Ravinia concert is part of the festival's summerlong retrospective devoted to the Second Viennese School--that is, music produced by Schoenberg, Berg, Webern, and company between roughly 1910 and 1930. The three works on the program are Webern's Symphony op. 21, Schoenberg's Chamber Symphony no. 1, and "Der Abschied" from Mahler's great song cycle Das Lied von der Erde. Eos will perform Schoenberg's arrangement of the song for chamber orchestra, intended as an homage to the composer, who did much to encourage his younger colleagues; mezzo-soprano Michelle DeYoung, a model Mahler interpreter who sang a remarkable BrangŠne in last year's Lyric Opera production of Wagner's Tristan und Isolde, is the soloist. Monday, June 25, 8 PM, Martin Theatre, Ravinia Festival, Green Bay and Lake Cook Rds., Highland Park; 847-266-5100.

TED SHEN

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