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Classical Thu Nov 01 2012
Plenty of great music this month, but my favorites happen within a five-day span. Just like Thanksgiving, there is something for everyone — you can even bring booze.
At this point, if you haven't yet seen the Spektral Quartet, you are missing out on one of the most unique concert experiences in Chicago. Even if you are unfamiliar with Elliott Carter's music, how can you pass up a chance to hear "bouts of impetuousness and vehemence" in his Quartet No. 2? Mix in Haydn's much-loved "Kaiser" String Quartet and Verdi's String Quartet in E Minor — he wrote more than opera — and you have a quintessential Spektral program full of adventurous programming backed by some of the sharpest string playing around. Oh, and it's BYOB. Really. Tickets are $15 in advance, $20 at the door, $10 with valid student ID. Wednesday, November 14, 7:30pm. National Pastime Theatre, 941 W. Lawrence, 4th floor, Chicago.
Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Even 100 years after its premiere, Stravinsky's Rite of Spring remains one of the baddest, scariest pieces ever written. The brutality of the story — a virgin girl dances to her death — and the score's musical violence predicts a century of chaos and destruction. The CSO plays the Rite with thunderous swagger while never losing the intricate jazz harmonies from early 20th-Century Paris. The program opens with Mussorgsky's A Night on Bald Mountain, followed by Tchaikovsky's towering Piano Concerto No. 1 featuring Daniil Trifonov, one of Russia's bright, young talents. Charles Dutoit conducts. Tickets start at $40. Wednesday, November 14, 7:30pm; Thursday, November 15 and Saturday, November 17, 8pm. Symphony Center, 220 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago.
Chicago-based cellist Wendy Warner and Moscow native and pianist Irina Nuzova have an extraordinary connection as recital partners. Warner's lush tone is perhaps a result of training with the great Russian cellist Mstislav Rostropovich; Nuzova's nimble playing is the perfect complement. Together, their sound radiates with warmth and energy. Head to Evanston for WarnerNuzova's performance of Beethoven, Janáček, and Prokofiev. Tickets are $30 for adults, $20 for seniors, $10 for students. Saturday, November 17, 7:30pm. Nichols Concert Hall, 1490 Chicago Ave., Evanston.
Music of the Baroque
The history of orchestral music is impossible to imagine without J.S. Bach. His influence extends so far out of his time that calling his music "Baroque" seems too confining. Indeed, when Nicholas Kraemer and the specialists of Music of the Baroque play Bach, his music is filled with a buoyancy and verve that keeps it fresh and alive. MOB's all-Bach performance should not be missed by anyone who can't get enough of the Fantastic Fuguist, the King of Counterpoint — you get the idea. Tickets start at $27. Monday, November 19, 7:30pm. Harris Theater for Music and Dance, 205 E. Randolph, Chicago.
Programs, artists, and prices subject to change. Tickets subject to availability.
Hear a great concert recently? Have a tip on an upcoming show? Talk about it in the comments.
About the author: Elliot Mandel plays cello, attends lots of concerts, writes reviews, takes pictures, loves sports but is really mad at hockey.