Rilling does Brahms

With age, they say, comes wisdom. That is often true of classical musicians, and it certainly applies to the German conductor Helmuth Rilling. Now in his 80s, Rilling is a choral practitioner of unparalleled experience, and brings the accumulated insight of decades to Brahms' masterpiece "A German Requiem," in three performances this weekend with the Minnesota Orchestra and Chorale. As a curtain-raiser, Rilling leads a lecture-demonstration on Brahms' working methods in the Requiem, and the reasons why he wrote it. If you follow choral music, this is an essential date for your diary. (8 p.m. Fri.-Sat., 2 p.m. Sun., Orchestra Hall, Mpls. $25-$79. or 612-371-5656)


Ever wondered what it takes to become a top classical soloist? A fascinating glimpse into the arduous process of training is provided in "Talent Has Hunger," a documentary showing at the Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival. Shot over seven years, director Josh Aronson follows a group of young cellists studying at a New England conservatory, as they aspire to instrumental mastery. (4 p.m. Sat., St. Anthony Main, Mpls.; $7-$13,

Welshman Bryn Terfel bestrides the operatic platform like a colossus, and is currently the world's leading Wagnerian bass-baritone. Yet his beginnings were in the more intimate arena of art-song, and he remains a wonderfully charismatic recitalist. Catch Terfel in a one-off concert for the Schubert Club, with songs by Schubert, Schumann, Ibert and others. (7:30 p.m. Wed., Ordway Music Theater, $16-$76, or 651-292-3268)

What's your favorite piece of choral music? That's the question recently posed to listeners across the nation by Minnesota Public Radio's Choral Stream. The answers are revealed in a cliff-hanging countdown concert staged by Philip Brunelle's VocalEssence, where the top 15 vote-collecting pieces are revealed in live performance. (8 p.m. Fri., 4 p.m. Sun.; Ordway Concert Hall, St. Paul; $20-$40,, 651-224-4222)

As winter turns to spring in Minnesota, why not sample Argentinian tango king Astor Piazzolla's colorful take on the "Four Seasons," as experienced in Buenos Aires? The St. Paul Chamber Orchestra couples it with Vivaldi's evergreen set of concertos on the same subject. (10:30 a.m., 8 p.m. Fri., Wooddale Church, Eden Prairie; 8 p.m. Sat., Saint Paul's United Church of Christ, St. Paul; 2 p.m. Sun., Benson Great Hall, Arden Hills; $13-$43, the, 651-291-1144)

Terry Blain