With at least a dozen superior recordings of Beethoven's Seventh Symphony available, why should we bother to hear it performed live? The answer is obvious: a live performance keeps one's mind focused on how the music unfolds, on the interplays between various instrumental groups--not to mention the possibility of inspired interpretation or awkward missteps. Besides, how can you ever get tired of listening to any of Beethoven's symphonies? All of which goes to say that this concert by the Orchester der Beethovenhalle from Bonn promises to be a noteworthy event--a chance to hear the Seventh played by well-regarded Beethoven specialists under the direction of Dennis Russell Davies, a maestro who knows how to make the familiar sound startlingly new. Paired with the Beethoven is the sardonic and kaleidoscopic Concerto for Piano and String Orchestra (1979) by Alfred Schnitke, the brilliant Russian composer who's become classical music's flavor of the month. The soloist is Vladimir Feltsman. Also included as aperitifs are Wagner's overture to his opera Rienzi and Ullman's Rhapsodle. Monday, 8 PM, Orchestra Hall, 220 S. Michigan; 242-6237.
Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photos/J. Henry Fair, Jeffrey Henson Scales.