That Riccardo Muti is one of Scriabin’s greatest champions is no surprise: his recordings of the complete symphonies and tone poems of Scriabin when he was music director of the Philadelphia Orchestra stand as one of his most significant recording projects and Muti remains unparalleled in this repertoire.
Performing Scriabin’s Third Symphony, “The Divine Poem,” with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra is one of the most anticipated performances of the 2012-13 season, which Muti returns to this week to conclude with three weeks of concerts.
Even more curious is Muti’s first foray into the music of Martinu, a composer he has never conducted before. This week’s performances of the Martinu Oboe Concerto is the outgrowth of Muti wanting to perform a work with Chicago Symphony principal oboist Eugene Izotov, “a great oboe player,” says Muti, and the Martinu Oboe Concerto was Izotov’s choice. “So, I expand my repertoire,” says Muti.
Izotov chose the work because he feels that the sound that the CSO has under Muti is ideal for its “colorful and spicy writing” and because of Muti’s unique ability “to balance structure and freedom.”
Opening the concert is Muti’s second traversal of a Haydn symphony since he became CSO music director, the Symphony No. 48 in C Major, the “Maria Theresa” named for the Austrian empress for whom the work was composed. (Dennis Polkow)
June 6 at 8pm, June 7 at 1:30pm, June 8 at 8pm, June 11 at 7:30pm, Orchestra Hall at Symphony Center, 220 South Michigan, (312)294-3000.