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Continued: The Big Gigs for April 26-May 2

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  • Last update: April 26, 2013 - 11:07 AM

With the so-called “major” orchestras sidelined, the Minnesota Sinfonia, with its fresh-faced soloists, attractive programs and free admission, has done yeoman’s service to the cause of music in the Twin Cities. Its next concerts, conducted by artistic director Jay Fishman, feature Ukrainian-born, New York-based pianist Inna Faliks in Mendelssohn’s impetuous and effervescent G-minor Concerto. Also on the agenda are works by Schubert, Vaughan Williams (the great “Tallis” Fantasia) and a 1978 quintet by American composer Theodore Unseth, now expanded for chamber orchestra. (7 p.m. Fri., Founders Hall, Metropolitan State University, 700 E. 7th St., St. Paul. 2 p.m. Sat., Basilica of St. Mary, 88 N. 17th St., Mpls. Free. 612.871.1701 or www.mnsinfonia.org.) Larry Fuchsberg

 

It was 1987 when VocalEssence first presented Benjamin Britten’s operetta “Paul Bunyan” to such acclaim that it resulted in an award-winning recording. This is the first time Philip Brunelle has revived the work, this time to honor Britten’s 100th birthday. This tribute to Minnesota’s favorite legend (and to Babe, the blue ox) is a tip of the hat to American music, folk songs, jazz, hymns and ballads. Vern Sutton directs the semi-staged production, with a cast that includes former WCCO anchorman Don Shelby as the voice of Bunyan, and Pop Wagner as the Ballad Singer. (8 p.m. Fri.-Sat., Ted Mann Concert Hall, $23.50-$43.50, www.vocal­essence.org) William Randall Beard

 

The Apollo Male Chorus may not be the most familiar ensemble in the crowded choral landscape, but it’s one of the oldest. Founded 117 years ago, it performed with what’s now the Minnesota Orchestra as early as 1927. Under its new director, Sean Vogt, the chorus is poised to launch a new era. For his inaugural concert, Vogt has programmed choruses by Michael Praetorius, Edvard Grieg and Aaron Copland, along with comedy numbers and choral settings of the Beatles’ “Let It Be” and Paul Simon’s “Bridge Over Troubled Water.” Vogt will open the program with an organ recital. (7 p.m. Sat., St. Bartholomew’s Catholic Church, 630 Wayzata Blvd. E., Wayzata, $15. www.apollomalechorus.com) Beard

 

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