Arts & Culture » Theater Critic's Choice

Symphony of the Shores

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The Consecration of the House Overture is one of those near-great works by a major composer that inexplicably escape the attention of conductors. The last of Beethoven's theatrical preludes--written in 1822 to celebrate the opening of a Viennese theater--it begins with a slow, majestic introduction in C major that segues into a magnificent fugal allegro. Its grandeur recalls handel, for whom Beethoven held deep admiration. paired with it in the golden-oldie section of this concert is another neglected curiosity, Bizet's Symphony in C. Though Bizet is of course best known for his operas, this miniature symphony--completed when he was barely 17--offers ample demonstration of his gift for melody and piquant rhythms. (Its varied tempi later inspired Balanchine to choreograph one of his signature dances.) As is usual with this symphony, the other half of the program is given to contemporary, pop-oriented pieces, but the focus remains on rhythmic variety. The Glory and the Grandeur by South Carolinian Russell Peck uses up to 100 percussion instruments, all of which will be played by the Chicago Symphony's dexterous Patricia Dash and the other members of her band Puise Chicago. Also making its local premiere is Cindy McTee's Circuits, in which the sounds of electrical static play a prominent role. Steven Martyn Zike conducts this youthful, easy-going orchestra with a very bright future. Sunday, 8 PM, Pick-Staiger Hall, 1977 Sheridan Rd, Evanston; 708-869-3133.

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