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Music, One of the Joys of Summer

April is overflowing with music, everything from blues and Brown to Brahms and Bohemia — plus an off-the-beaten-path chamber ensemble. Here are just a few of the choice morsels. The Brown is Greg Brown, the wonderful, seasoned folk singer-songwriter, who appears at Club Helsinki Hudson, 405 Columbia St., this Sunday, April 10, at 8 pm. His song “Daughters” captivated me some years ago with this line, familiar perhaps to many a parent: “One won’t eat anything much, I guess she lives on air and sun and noodles.” www.Helsinkihudson.com For Blues, check out the Debbie Davies Blues Band at the legendary Towne Crier Café on Route 22 in Pawling, this Saturday night, April 9, at 8:30 p.m. Davies has worked with such notables as B.B. King and John Mayall. 845-855-1300. The Fisher Center at Bard College, in Red Hook, NY, has a weekend of Brahms, April 15 and 16 (at 8 p.m. both nights), featuring the masterful German Requiem, with the American Symphony Orchestra, soloists, and choral groups from Bard and Vassar, conducted by Leon Botstein. Brahms broke with centuries of tradition by using German biblical texts rather than the Latin requiem Mass, producing a work of soaring beauty. Of particular interest is the dazzling fugue that concludes the third of the piece’s seven movements, played over a single “pedal” bass note, D. It is said that Brahms’ contemporaries thought this novel device crude, but the effect is majestic and overpowering, and the German Requiem has endured as a staple of the repertoire. 845-758-7900. For a taste of Bohemia and more, the popular Close Encounters with Music Series presents viola quintets by Dvorák and Mendelssohn. This is a chance to hear the wonderful sonority of the violin’s oft-overlooked cousin in works by two great Romantic composers. The performance is at the Mahaiwe Theater in Great Barrington on Saturday, April 16, at 6 pm. 413-528-0100. Finally, “Winds in the Wilderness Players” will perform trios and quartets by J.C. Bach, Roussel, and Mozart, as well as a premiere by local composer Larry Wallach (head of the music program at Bard College at Simon’s Rock). The unusual confluence of winds should be delightful listening. The concert is on Sunday, April 10, at 3 p.m. at the Church of St. John in the Wilderness, 261 Route 344, Copake Falls, New York. 518-329-1577.

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