Masterpieces of orchestration

If you like the lush sounds of the late Romantic period, then this week's Minnesota Orchestra program is just for you. Conductor Juraj Valčuha leads performances of Respighi's "The Fountains of Rome" and Debussy's "La Mer," both masterpieces of orchestration. Then there's Russian composer Anatoly Lyadov's hazily atmospheric tone poem "The Enchanted Lake." And soloist Kirill Gerstein is guaranteed to deliver powerful pianism in Rachmaninoff's Third Piano Concerto, a piece combining brooding intensity with high-level combustibility. (11 a.m. Thu., 8 p.m. Fri. & Sat., Orchestra Hall, Mpls., $11-$96, 612-371-5656 or minnesota

Best of all possible worlds

So you're crazy about Leonard Bernstein's "West Side Story"? Now you should hear "Candide," the composer's frothy operetta based on Voltaire's eternally optimistic hero. Artistry honors Bernstein's birth centenary by staging four concert performances of the 1956 piece, featuring a 24-piece orchestra and a cast of 15 singers. (7:30 p.m. Thu. & Fri., 2 p.m. & 7:30 p.m. Sat.; Bloomington Center for the Arts, Bloomington, $12-$41, 952-563-8575 or

Mozart gets the Fröst touch

Clarinetist Martin Fröst is back in town for another fascinating program with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra. This time it's an all-Mozart affair, pairing the Clarinet Concerto, with its exquisitely peaceful slow movement, and the 39th Symphony, for which Fröst will act as conductor. (11 a.m. & 8 p.m. Fri., Wooddale Church, Eden Prairie; 8 p.m. Sat., St. Paul's United Church of Christ, St. Paul; 2 p.m. Sun., Ted Mann Concert Hall, Mpls.; 7:30 p.m. Thu. March 8, Temple Israel, Mpls.; $11-$26, 651-291-1144 or

Music made of poetry

St. Paul composer Linda Kachelmeier premieres "I Give Voice to My Mother," based on poems from Minnesota writer Athena Kildegaard's new collection. Soprano Maria Jette sings Kachelmeier's new song cycle, with Ann DuHamel on piano. (7 p.m. Sat., Studio Z, St. Paul; free,

Sounding better with age

If the opening bars of Beet­hoven's "Eroica Variations" sound familiar, it's because the composer recycled the tune for the finale of his better known Third Symphony. Outstanding English pianist Imogen Cooper plays the "Variations," along with works by Haydn, Liszt and English composer Julian Anderson, in a recital for Minnesota's Frederic Chopin Society, where she is an established favorite. As she nears 70, Cooper's artistry has only deepened with the passing decades. (3 p.m. Sun., Mairs Concert Hall, Macalester College, St. Paul, $15-$30, 612-822-0123 or