'Absolutely kill it'
New York chamber ensemble Third Sound was formed three years ago to perform "everything from Mozart to Schoenberg" and "absolutely kill it, no matter what the program." For its Twin Cities debut, the group plays music by Brahms, Schoenberg, Ingrid Arauco and Patrick Castillo. (7:30 p.m. Tue., Summit Beer Hall, St. Paul; $30, schubert.org)
A Vaughan Williams masterpiece
Ralph Vaughan Williams' symphonies are rarely heard in the U.S., though American conductors including Andre Previn and Leonard Slatkin have been among the English composer's greatest interpreters. English conductor Michael Francis (of the Florida Orchestra) leads this Minnesota Orchestra performance of Vaughan Williams' turbulent, impassioned Sixth Symphony, unquestionably a masterpiece. Also featured are Britten's "Sinfonia da Requiem" and outstanding cellist Daniel Müller-Schott playing Schumann's Cello Concerto. (11 a.m. Thu., 8 p.m. Fri.; Orchestra Hall, Mpls.; $12-$96, 612-371-5656, minnesotaorchestra.org)
The St. Paul Chamber Orchestra slips into chamber music mode, fielding a team of instrumentalists to play Schubert's genial Octet. This week's program also features principal violinist Francisco Fullana playing works by Fritz Kreisler, plus Schoenberg's intriguing arrangement of Strauss' "Emperor" Waltz. (7:30 p.m. Thu., Temple Israel, Mpls.; 8 p.m. Sat., St. Paul's United Church of Christ, St. Paul; $11-$26, 651-291-1144, thespco.org)
Music for 'mad men'
This recital featuring baritone Alan Dunbar and pianist/Source Song Festival artistic director Mark Bilyeu explores male characters who are "crazy, delusional and flat-out psychopathic." The program includes music by Purcell, Schubert, David Evan Thomas and Libby Larsen. (7 p.m. Fri., Hamline Church United Methodist, St. Paul; free, markbilyeu.com)
A controlling monk exerts moral pressure to force a prostitute into renouncing her riches and indulgent lifestyle — all while harboring an attraction to her. Massenet's opera "Thais" was written in 1894, but its heady mix of gender politics and religious orthodoxy feels uncomfortably contemporary. Minnesota Opera's new production stars Winnebago, Minn., native Kelly Kaduce as the courtesan, with baritone (and recent Minneapolis transplant) Lucas Meachem as Athanael, the holy man who wants to cut her off from the world of human passions. (7:30 p.m. Sat.; Ordway Music Theater, St. Paul; $25-$200, 612-333-6669, mnopera.org)