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Classical Roundup: August is Looking Rather French

John Ferguson

Known for his nimble fingers and impassioned delivery, John Ferguson has plunked himself down on piano benches across the country to perform the most Herculean solo works in the classical canon. Two contrasting Beethoven pieces are on tap for his San Francisco appearance - the sublime and devilishly tricky Hammerklavier Sonata Op. 106 and the serene Pastoral Sonata Op. 28.
 
 
 
August 6. Old First Church, 1751 Sacramento Street. Tickets are $14-17 at (415) 474-1608.
 
Euouae
 
If this early music choral group was an entree, most of us would probably have to do that annoying point-to-the-menu-because-pronunciation-is-questionable-at-best thing while the waiter looks perplexed. But this is sacred music from 12th- to 14th-Century France is well worth any stumbles when purchasing tickets. With Gregorian chants and transcendent vocal gymnastics, this innovative program includes the rarely heard Messe de Tournai, the oldest polyphonic setting of the Latin mass.  
 
August 13. Old First Church, 1751 Sacramento Street. Tickets are $14-17 at (415) 474-1608.

Classical Revolution celebrates Debussy’s Birthday

August marks French composer Claude Debussy’s 148th birthday. He's a little too dead to enjoy a birthday cake, so Classical Revolution is pulling out the harp, viola, flute, violin (etc.) to celebrate at the Legion of Honor and later in the evening at a Mission cafe. Come hear Debussy classics like Syrinx for Solo Flute and Danses Sacree et Profane for Harp and String Quartet.

August 22. Legion of Honor, Rodin Gallery at noon. Revolution Cafe, 3248 22nd Street at 8 p.m. Free. www.classicalrevolution.org.