This smartly programmed concert lines up four fairly brief works by Stravinsky, Ravel, and Szymanowski, beginning with Stravinsky’s Fireworks–a bravura showpiece from 1908 whose innovations foreshadow the shocking leaps in The Rite of Spring, Petrushka, and The Firebird. Those innovations–different instruments playing the melody slightly out of sync, a flurry of gleaming textures–and a theft from Dukas’ The Sorcerer’s Apprentice fly by in under four minutes. Nikolaj Znaider, a favorite of music director Daniel Barenboim, has a bell-clear sound that cuts cleanly through an orchestra; he’ll perform Szymanowski’s increasingly popular Violin Concerto no. 1. His acerbic approach to the ironic early-20th-century repertoire is perfectly suited to a work that casts a jaundiced eye on the padded Romantic-era concerti, making its points by juxtaposing different sections of the orchestra rather than through volume or pyrotechnics. Two soft-edged ballet suites by Ravel, from Mother Goose and Daphnis and Chloe, complete the program. Andrew Davis conducts, filling in for an ailing Barenboim. $17-$110. Sunday, September 12, 3 PM, and Tuesday, September 14, 7:30 PM, Orchestra Hall, Symphony Center, 220 S. Michigan; 312-294-3000 or 800-223-7114.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Sheila Rock.