The Chicago Symphony Orchestra rehashing the same old favorites under the pavilion’s big top is always the Ravinia Festival’s center-ring attraction. But for me it’s the chamber events in the intimate Murray Theatre that often make the long trek north worthwhile. The lineup this summer is especially strong: song recitals by Dawn Upshaw, Christa Ludwig, Cecilia Bartoli, and Jerry Hadley, plus the return of the Kronos and Cleveland quartets. The program for the Cleveland Quartet concert is commendable for the inclusion of a pair of rarely performed near masterworks. Mozart’s Quartet in G Major is notable for its cleverly woven (and anachronistic) contrapuntal finale; Dvorak’s Quartet no. 14 in A-flat Major, sketched during the homesick last weeks of the Czech composer’s stay in New York, is not nearly as popular as its sibling, the Quartet in G Major, but it’s almost as memorable for its similarly sophisticated treatment of folk melodies. Three of the estimable Cleveland foursome will also play Schubert’s Trout Quintet–a certified masterpiece that’s annoyingly omnipresent on today’s recital circuit. Guest performers in the quintet are pianist Jon Kimura Parker and the CSO’s bass ace Joseph Guastafeste. Wednesday, 8 PM, Murray Theatre, Ravinia Festival, Green Bay and Lake Cook Rds., Highland Park; 728-4642 or 708-433-8800.
Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Jav Maisel.