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Fall classical music embraces the season

Autumn is full of fun. Even the most devoted summer-lovers can't resist the lure of apples and pumpkins, Halloween, Thanksgiving and the World's Largest Disco.

At the same time, with the sun setting earlier and winter closing in, our thoughts grow deeper. Our minds turn naturally to matters of eternity and the supernatural.

How to sort it all out? With classical music. Embrace the season and its changing atmosphere with a host of classical music events.

Disney's Fantasia with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, 8 p.m. Sept. 23 at Kleinhans Music Hall.

Picture it, Disney's "Fantasia" live in concert. The BPO, led by principal pops conductor John Morris Russell, accompanies two classic "Fantasia" scenes. Debussy's "Claire de Lune" is a portrait of the moon. And "The Sorcerer's Apprentice" is really a horror movie, with those brooms marching and multiplying, the music stopping and then starting up again. Tickets are $29-$84. Call 885-5000 or visit

Vocalis Chamber Choir, "Seasons: Songs for Life's Journey." Multiple performances.

What better time than when the leaves are falling to listen to glorious music exploring faith, joy, sorrow, loss, redemption, hope, and love? The virtuosic Vocalis Chamber Choir explores all these themes in "Seasons: Songs for Life's Journey."

There are two performances: 8 p.m. Oct. 13 at Orchard Park Presbyterian Church (4369 South Buffalo St., Orchard Park) and 4 p.m. Oct. 15 at Westminster Presbyterian Church (724 Delaware Ave.).

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Harmonia Chamber Singers, "The Road Home," 7:30 p.m. Oct. 21 at Saints Peter and Paul Church (5480 Main St., Williamsville).

Another exquisite vocal group, the Harmonia Chamber Singers, also is feeling autumnal. As we approach the ancient feasts of All Hallows (All Saints Day) and All Souls Day, the group sets the mood with this program that features music of remembrance and hope.

Composers include Bach, Palestrina and Elgar. Robert Duerr conducts the concert. A free-will donation of $15 is suggested.

Cirque de la Symphonie and the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, 10:30 a.m. Oct. 27 and 8 p.m. Oct. 28 at Kleinhans Music Hall.

Celebrate the whimsical side of the season with this concert. We're not sure they'll have zombies, but they'll have acrobats, contortionists and other whimsical seasonal performers. John Morris Russell, the BPO's principal pops conductor, conducts. Admission is $29-$84. Arrive an hour early on Oct. 27 for complimentary coffee and doughnuts.

On Oct. 29, from 2:30 to 4 p.m., the troupe joins the BPO for "Symphonic Spooktacular," part of the orchestra's concert series for kids. Tickets for the kids' concert are $14-$24. Call 885-5000 or visit

The Miro Quartet, 7:30 p.m. Nov. 3 at Lippes Concert Hall in Slee Hall on UB's North Campus.

The quartet, in residence for a short time at the University at Buffalo, performs a concert including Dvorak's "Cypresses"; the Credo by Kevin Puts, and ends with the reason you should be here -- Mozart's String Quintet No. 4 in G Minor, K. 516. This music is incomparably beautiful and brooding, perfect for this time of year.

Tchaikovsky said: "No one has ever known as well how to interpret so exquisitely in music the sense of resigned and inconsolable sorrow." The piece ends in a burst of brightness, just the way autumn clouds can suddenly part for the sun. Tickets are $17-$22. Call 645-2921.

Harmonia Chamber Singers, 4 p.m. Nov. 5 at St. Louis Church (35 Edward St.).

On All Souls Day, Nov. 5, the tradition is to pray for the dead. All are welcome when the Harmonia Chamber Singers, led again by Duerr, sing a Latin Requiem Mass at St. Louis Church. There will be music by Palestrina, Victoria, Elgar and other greats. The celebrant is Rev. Paul Nagaro. This is a religious service and admission is free.

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