Salonen conducts Lutusławski | Symphony Center | Classical | Chicago Reader

Salonen conducts Lutusławski Recommended All Ages Soundboard Image

When: Wed., Feb. 24, 6:30 p.m. 2016

It’s no secret that the great Finnish conductor and composer Esa-Pekka Salonen possesses a great love for the music of Polish composer Witold Lutosławski. A couple of years ago Sony Classical released a fantastic two-CD set of Salonen leading the Los Angeles Philharmonic through the four symphonies Lutosławski wrote during his lifetime; the vigor and depth of the performances is uncanny. This concert features him conducting the Chicago Symphony Orchestra on a reading of the Third Symphony, not only the most exciting by Lutosławski but a fitting choice since it was originally commissioned by the CSO in 1972. It took Lutosławski 11 years to complete the work, which debuted in 1983 under the baton of Sir Georg Solti. Full of drama and intensity, it also contains luminous, unforgettable melodies. The composer requires performers to inject their own ideas into each reading using a procedure he called “limited aleatorism,” where phrases are played in rhythms devised by individual players, independent of what the score calls for. This evening’s program also features Salonen’s own rousing Foreign Bodies and Beethoven’s Overture to King Stephen.

Peter Margasak

Price: $38-$98, $15 students

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