CHicago Symphony Orchestra

Two of this century’s most durable concertos are Scandinavian, each intended as a dauntingly virtuosic vehicle for the violin by a master symphonist combining traditional and modern sensibilities. The Sibelius concerto, first performed in 1903, shares an angular tone, spare texture, and muted ecstasy with Carl Nielsen’s sole entry in the genre, composed eight years later. But the Sibelius is more interesting and foreboding; it has the majestic and logical coherence that pervades the best of the Finnish composer’s oeuvre. Both concertos are featured in the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s first week of subscription concerts with soloist Maxim Vengerov, the 21-year-old sensation from Siberia who’s become very popular with local audiences. Also being performed are the Lustspiel Overture by Busoni, a provocative orchestrator who hasn’t gotten his due, and Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring. Conducting is maestro Daniel Barenboim, in town this month to celebrate the 25th anniversary of his affiliation with the CSO. Friday, 1:30 PM, Saturday, 8 PM, and Sunday, 3 PM, Orchestra Hall, 220 S. Michigan; 435-6666. TED SHEN

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo by Thomas Muller-Teldec.