Critic’s Choice

Wed Apr 12, 2017 at 11:11 am

By Lawrence A. Johnson

FIle photo: Todd Rosenberg
File photo: Todd Rosenberg

Charles Dutoit leads the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in an uncommonly thoughtful Holy Week program Thursday night that largely avoids the usual Lenten chestnuts. The main work is Gabriel Fauré’s Requiem, a setting of the Catholic mass for the dead that eschews fire and damnation in favor of solace and spiritual peace. Soprano Chen Reiss and baritone Matthias Goerne are the soloists with the CSO Chorus joining the orchestra.

The first half of the concert offers two contrasted takes on the Easter theme: Wagner’s beatific “Good Friday Music” from Parsifal, and Arthur Honegger’s Symphony No. 3 “Liturgique”— a journey from darkness to light, completed in 1946 while the horrors of World War II were still searingly fresh.

Performance times are 8 p.m. Thursday, 1:30 p.m. Friday and 8 p.m. Saturday at Symphony Center.; 312-294-3000.

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