In this short video, guest conductor Michael Tilson Thomas leads the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in “The Dance of the Knights” from Prokofiev’s ballet Romeo and Juliet. This famous work has a strong Chicago connection: In 1937, Prokofiev, who had arranged two orchestral suites of seven excerpts from his full ballet, conducted the CSO in the first of these suites in its U.S. premiere at Orchestra Hall. For this week’s program, Tilson Thomas leads his own arrangement of excerpts from the complete ballet score rather than the suites themselves.
For the Chicago Classical Review, critic Lawrence A. Johnson wrote: “Even in this much-played music, Tilson Thomas managed to find a fresh approach, leading a full-blooded performance of his own suite of selections. Yet this confection proved very effective in its own right, emerging as a single, cohesive 44-minute entity rather than yet another potted performance of the ballet’s greatest hits.”
For more information about the program, which runs through Dec. 18, click here.