Vivacious Vivaldi

The more we hear a piece of music, the closer we get to taking it for granted. Vivaldi’s “The Four Seasons” is probably the best known work in classical music, but is unlikely to seem tired and over-familiar in this week’s St. Paul Chamber Orchestra performances with English harpsichordist and conductor Richard Egarr. Named an artistic partner of the SPCO last fall, Egarr specializes in baroque music, and has a way of making it lilt with freshness and vivacity. Sonatas by Dario Castello and Georg Muffat also are featured in a program tailor-made for lovers of the baroque period. (11 a.m. and 8 p.m. Fri., Wooddale Church, Eden Prairie; 8 p.m. Sat., St. Paul’s United Church of Christ, St. Paul; 3 p.m. Sun., St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church, Mahtomedi; $12-$26, 651-291-1144 or

A cellist/conductor

Talk about multi-tasking — Welshman Paul Watkins is cellist in the Emerson String Quartet, plays solo dates, conducts and teaches, and must be one of the busiest musicians on the planet. Watkins wears two of his four hats in this week’s Minnesota Orchestra program, in which he performs C.P.E. Bach’s Cello Concerto in A Major as the centerpiece. Flanking it are two masterpieces of the orchestral repertoire — Britten’s wonderfully inventive “Variations on a Theme of Frank Bridge” and Beethoven’s Fourth Symphony, both led by Watkins from the conductor’s podium. (11 a.m. Thu. and 8 p.m. Fri., Orchestra Hall, Mpls.; $12-$130.75, 612-371-5656 or

An oboe offering

The rarely played Oboe Quintet by 20th-century English composer Arthur Bliss gets a welcome airing in the latest recital by chamber music ensemble the Musical Offering. An imaginative program is completed by Heitor Villa-Lobos’ Bachianas Brasileiras No. 6 for flute and bassoon, and Beethoven’s Third “Razumovsky” Quartet. (3 p.m. Sun., Sundin Music Hall, Hamline University, St. Paul; $10-$30,

Latin early music

The Border CrosSing choir’s mission to familiarize Twin Cities audiences with Latin American music and culture continues in “La Colonia,” the latest program in its multilingual “Puentes” concert series. Border CrosSing founder Ahmed Anzaldúa leads an ensemble featuring period instruments that will perform early music from Latin America. (7:30 p.m. Sat., Westminster Presbyterian Church, Mpls.; 7 p.m. Sun., Unity Church-Unitarian, St. Paul; $10-$25,

Yang tackles Liszt

More than 160 years after it was written, Liszt’s Piano Sonata remains a pinnacle of the repertoire, and one of its stiffest technical challenges. Stylish Korean pianist Joyce Yang plays it in an intriguingly varied Frederic Chopin Society recital that also features Bach’s French Suite No. 5 and Chopin’s Ballade No. 2. (3 p.m. Sun., Mairs Concert Hall, Macalester College, St. Paul; $15-$35, 612-822-0123 or