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Published:March 16th, 2008 09:45 EST
CSO plays Beethoven

CSO plays Beethoven

By Hedy Phillips

The Chicago Symphony Orchestra played Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 4 on March 6-8.

The CSO featured Robert Levin on piano.  His fast fingers and animated movement were a good match with Beethoven’s chromatic chordal style.

Concertgoer Lauren Thompson, 23, liked watching Levin just as much as listening to him. 

“My eyes were just transfixed,” she said.  “Especially on the last movement, his hands were just everywhere.”

After reading the program, a listener would probably be impressed at the biography for Levin.  He has appeared in concerts all over the world with several different orchestras. 

David Hwang, 28, was skeptical, though, of his talent.  Before the show he said, “I’m curious to see how well he plays Beethoven because Beethoven is really hard.”

After the concert Hwang changed his tune.

 “That was so much better than I anticipated,” he said.  “I expected him to be alright, but he was amazing.”

Beethoven’s Fourth has three movements: Allegro Moderato (moderately quick), Andante con moto (walking pace with motion) and Rondo: Vivace (lively and fast).

In typical Beethoven fashion, none of the movements had a hummable tune for the audience to remember after they left.  Jim Oberweiss, 41, thought that might be the reason he enjoyed the show so much.

“This is the first time I’ve been to the Symphony and I’m here for a class,” he said.  “I’ve been searching for a tune to remember and it has kept me listening the whole time.  Once we got to the end, I realized, there is no tune.”

The CSO was conducted by John Eliot Gardiner who made his debut with it during this concert series. 

Also performed was Shostakovich’s Chamber Symphony for Strings and Robert Schumann’s Symphony No. 3.

The CSO performs at Symphony Center in downtown Chicago.  For tickets and more information, visit the Web site at