Trapped in Switzerland during World War I and unable to access his funds in Russia nor receive royalties on his music, Stravinsky turned wartime conditions and hardship into a performance-art piece loosely based on the Faust legend that is to be “read, played and danced, ” “The Soldier’s Tale,” an iconic masterpiece that rates among Stravinsky’s greatest works. Taking advantage of a winds-dominated small ensemble that more resembles a jazz band or a circus band than an orchestra (there is only a solo violin, representing the soldier’s soul), the bouncy and quirky score—which will be immediately recognized even if the title is unfamiliar—defies genre and should be played with great flourish by “The Group,” a moniker for a chamber ensemble made up of several Chicago Symphony players, some of whom have been playing this music for years in various incarnations and who really relish in it. The narration will be supplied by performance artist Matthew Owens, and Thodos Dance Chicago dancers Kelsey Yates and Matthew Coley will dance the drama to choreography by Thodos founder and artistic director Melissa Thodos. (Dennis Polkow)
Nov 29, 6:30pm. Symphony Center’s Buntrock Hall, 220 S. Michigan, (312)294-3000. Free.