The title of this week's Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra concert, "Bach to Bartók," is a bit misleading. Conductor Ward Stare's ambitious program might more accurately be titled "Great Hits of 20th-Century Modernism": fascinating music from the three composers of the so-called "Second Viennese School," plus a masterpiece by Béla Bartók. The concert does indeed begin with Johann Sebastian Bach — the Ricercar No. 2 from Bach's "Musical Offering," in a most original orchestration by Anton Webern. This exercise in cool classicism is followed by the heated expressionism of Arnold Schoenberg's "Five Pieces for Orchestra" from 1909, in its RPO premiere. Soloist Tessa Lark (pictured) will essay the ghostly grandeur of Alban Berg's Violin Concerto, a work that includes a shout-out to Bach. Winding it all up is the virtuoso workout of Bartók's Concerto for Orchestra.
Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra presents "Bach to Bartók" Thursday, November 7 at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, November 9 at 8 p.m., at Eastman Theatre's Kodak Hall, 60 Gibbs Street. $30-$90. 454-2100. rpo.org; tessalark.com.