Civic Orchestra of Chicago

Daniel Barenboim is likely to be remembered for devoting a lot of time to the Civic Orchestra, the CSO’s apprentice ensemble. He’s invigorated its playing, and he’s also asked visiting world-class maestros, such as Pierre Boulez, to conduct it. With such caring yet critical attention the Civic’s latest crop of musicians is bound to be recruited by important orchestras here and abroad. The orchestra’s concert this weekend–underwritten, as usual, by the Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation and free to the public–is a daunting one: Ravel’s Daphnis and Chloe, Suite no. 2, and the Prelude and “Love-Death” from Wagner’s Tristan and Isolde on the first half of a hefty program, and Brahms’s Symphony no. 2 on the second. Count on the Civic to be thoroughly prepared by Barenboim to convey loudly and melodramatically the air of doomed love in the Ravel and the Wagner. The Brahms, however, is a real challenge; its symphonic sweep and pleasingly logical structure can be sustained only through plenty of discipline and teamwork–the stuff that separates a first-rate training orchestra from a merely good one. A preconcert discussion begins at 10 AM. Sunday, 11:30 AM, Orchestra Hall, 220 S. Michigan; 435-6666. TED SHEN

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo by Jim Steere.