Seattle Symphony

Gerard Schwarz liked to pair Beethoven's imposing Ninth, in his Seattle Symphony New Year's concerts, with something hors-d'oeuvre-y from the same Austro-German tradition: Haydn, maybe, or Humperdinck. But Ludovic Morlot, now in his second season leading the orchestra, is prefacing it this weekend with a startling choice: Astor Piazzolla's The Four Seasons of Buenos Aires, his dashing rethinking of Vivaldi in tango style. In fact, they're even bringing in live tango dancers, Eva Lucero and Patricio Touceda, to perform to the music. Come to think of it, maybe it's not so odd a combination; the Friedrich Schiller text Beethoven set for the symphony's finale does get a bit steamy: "Joy all creatures drink /At the breasts of nature . . . Kisses she gave us, and vines." (Monday's New Year's Eve gala, $52-$152, switches out Piazzolla for Rachmaninoff's stirring Piano Concerto No. 2.) GAVIN BORCHERT

Fri., Dec. 28, 8 p.m.; Sat., Dec. 29, 8 p.m.; Sun., Dec. 30, 2 p.m.; Mon., Dec. 31, 9 p.m., 2012

 
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