‘ODE TO JOY'8 p.m., Robinson Center Music Hall. $17-$52.The Arkansas Symphony Orchestra's
Stella Boyle Smith Masterworks series returns with a nice balance: an iconic piece, recognizable to even the most musically ignorant, and a provocative 20th century composition inspired by jazz and African creation myths. The latter, Milhaud's “La creation du monde, Op. 81,” prominently features the saxophone and clarinet concertino, which, in the original ballet production, “heralds the dance of desire.” Watch out. The former, Beethoven's “Symphony No. 9 in D Minor, Op. 125,” is best known for its fourth movement, which incorporates Frederich Schiller's poem “Ode to Joy.” Beethoven's Ninth has been described as “one of the highest achievements of man, ranking alongside Shakespeare's Hamlet and King Lear.” The ASO reprises its performance on Sunday at 3 p.m. Same place, same price.