Revisiting the heyday of department stores and five-and-dimes

Another little guide to weekend musical delights

Big surprise -- too many musical delights jammed into another weekend in Baltimore, especially on Sunday. Good luck choosing.

I'll say it again: Someone in this town should lead a can't-we-all-get-along-Kumbaya drive and develop a process that helps local musical organizations share scheduling ideas far in advance and help them avoid so many conflicts.

There aren't unlimited numbers of classical music fans out there. It makes no sense for everyone to compete so often for concert-goers on the same dates and at the same time slots. Sure, I'm being terribly unrealistic, but I'm entitled to kvetch, aren't I?

Anyway, back to this weekend. In case it helps, I thought I should point out a few items that seem particularly promising. (You may recall I'm still on an extended vacation. I'll be out of town part of the weekend, but may still try to catch some of the local musical action when I get back.)

If, like me, you love to experience silent films with live music, don't even hesitate about catching the Baltimore Symphony's presentation of Charlie Chaplin's "The Gold Rush," with Marin Alsop conducting Chaplin's own score. You can catch it Saturday night at Meyerhoff, or head to Strathmore Friday night so you have more time Saturday and Sunday to catch other concerts.

At 3 p.m. Saturday, the remarkable young cellist Hans Kristian Goldstein will give a free recital with pianist Clinton Adams, presented by Shriver Hall Concert Series at the Baltimore Museum of Art. The program offers works by Boccherini, Tchaikovsky and Shostakovich, as well as unaccompanied cello pieces by Bach and Ligeti.

At the same hour farther uptown ...

violinist Hahn-Bin, who has one of the most distinctive hairstyles in the classical biz, will give a recital with pianist John Blacklow at the Evergreen Museum. The program covers a wide range of composers, from Chopin and Saint-Saens to Lutoslawski and John Cage.

Moving to Sunday, first up, at 2:30 p.m., the Concert Artists of Baltimore will be at the Engineers Club with a chamber music event focusing on classical and folk music from Greece. Clarinetist David Drosinos will be joined by members of the Greek/American band Zephyros. There's a belly dancer on the program, too, so this concert has a leg, or at least a stomach, up on the competition.

The 3 o'clock hour finds the Baltimore Chamber Orchestra at Goucher College's Kraushaar Auditorium, where Markand Thakar conducts two great symphonies from very different worlds -- Haydn's 94th (the one known as "Surprise") and Charles Ives' Third (the one known as "Camp Meeting"). Also on the bill: Brahms' lush Double Concerto with violinist David Perry and cellist Michael Mermagen.

At 3:30 p.m. at Towson Center for the Arts, Pro Musica Rara welcomes one of the finest sopranos in the early music field, Julianne Baird. She'll be joined by Eva Mengelkoch at the fortepiano and others in an unusual program that explores the sort of music that could have been enjoyed by the likes of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin.

Sunday at 7:30 p.m., it's time for Chamber Music by Candlelight at Second Presbyterian Church, where members of the BSO will offer a typically diverse program. Selections include a clarinet quintet by Weber, a string quartet by Mendelssohn and a violin sonata by William Bolcom.


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