Gidon Kremer, a big-league violinist with a large local following, returns in a recital that bears the stamp of his well-known catholic tastes. The lengthy program traverses three centuries and at least five countries. Included are several contrasting pairs: Bach’s “Chaconne” from Partita no. 2 in D Minor and Fratres II for violin and piano by the Estonian neomedievalist Arvo PŠrt, which pays tribute to the intricacies of baroque forms; Prokofiev’s lush Sonata no. 2 in D Major for violin and piano and the austere and macabre Rope Dancer for the same instrumental duo by Sofia Gubaidulina, a Soviet composer of a later generation; and “Feux d’artifice” from Debussy’s Preludes for Solo Piano, Book II and the equally impressionistic Two Tangos, rescored for violin and piano, by the Argentinean master Astor Piazzolla, whose music, at last, is in vogue. The much-recorded Kremer founded a chamber music festival in Lockenhaus, at which performers are encouraged to explore obscure works, and is celebrated for his advocacy of 20th-century compositions, especially those by his Russian and eastern European compatriots such as Gubaidulina, PŠrt, and Alfred Schnittke. One such colleague (and expert new-music interpreter) is pianist Vadim Sakharov, also Russian-born but now based in France. Sakharov–who’s been a friend of Kremer since the late 60s, when he was barred by the Soviet regime from performing in the West–is Kremer’s partner in the recital (replacing the ailing Martha Argerich). Friday, 8 PM, Orchestra Hall, 220 S. Michigan; 435-6666.