Critic’s Choice

Tue May 12, 2015 at 1:03 pm

By Lawrence A. Johnson

Claude Debussy
Claude Debussy

Even with two late substitutions in major roles, this week’s Chicago Symphony Orchestra program of Pelleas et Melisande is a clear first choice. Esa-Pekka Salonen is as assured a hand in French repertory as in Sibelius and contemporary music, and the opportunity to hear the CSO musicians stretch their muscles in the orchestra’s first performance of Debussy’s complete opera is a rare treat. Performances are 7 p.m. Thursday, Saturday and May 19.; 312-294-3000.


Alan Heatherington will lead the final concert of his Ars Viva Symphony Orchestra 3 p.m. Sunday at the North Shore Center for the Arts in Skokie. After two decades, Heatherington has elected to draw the curtain on his beloved ensemble with a program of his favorite composers: Brahms’ Symphony No. 1, Sibelius’ Finlandia, Dvorak’s Othello, and Rozsa’s Violin Concerto with soloist Ilya Kaler.; 847-673-6300.

Also, Music of the Baroque is closing its season this weekend with a pair of infrequently heard choral works. Jane Glover will lead the MOB orchestra and chorus in Handel’s Dettingen Te Drum and Haydn’s Mass in Time of War.  Performances are 7:30 p.m. Sunday at Pick-Staiger Hall in Evanston and 7:30 p.m. Monday at the Harris Theater.; 312-551-1414.

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