All I want for Christmas is Ludwig

For those whose loved ones like their music in movements, the Asheville Chamber Music Series offers a leg up on a gift in three parts.

ACMS — the Lincoln Center of Asheville classical music — has a holiday-ticket package for its remaining three concerts. Instead of $105 at $35 apiece, a bundle of Beethoven (and Bach … and Schubert … and Ravel) can be had and passed on for $90.

The ensembles that the 60-year-old series brings to town are among the most accomplished and lauded in the country (and in some cases the world). Visit http://www.ashevillechambermusic.org for full bios on this year’s performers, as well as a list of past guests (Amadeus Quartet! Rampal!). Concerts are free for students, so if you are one, you can tag along at an even bigger discount.

The first concert, on Sunday, Feb. 10 at 4 p.m. brings the Windscape woodwind quintet, performing their own arrangements of J.S. Bach, Maurice Ravel and Antonin Dvorák, as well as six bagatelles by Gyorgy Ligeti. Next, on Friday, March 8 at 8 p.m., the Jasper String Quartet plays works by Beethoven, Schubert and living American composer Aaron Jay Kernis. Closing the season on Friday, April 5 at 8 p.m., Trio Solsti plays Beethoven’s “Archduke” trio and others by Ernest Chausson and Joaquin Turina.

The best way to ensure a vivid experience is to know what you’re listening to — as is the case with any genre. If you or your guest/recipient aren’t familiar with the programs (or with chamber concerts in general), advance listening can enliven the performances and allow for a deeper, richer connection with what the musicians are doing.

SoliClassica at 1550 Hendersonville Road is the area hub for all things classical. In addition to sheet music, instrument supplies and lessons, SoliClassica offers “historic recordings and new releases of solo, chamber, orchestral, choral and operatic works,” according to its website. Call or email ahead to see if they have what you’re looking for.

Think of it: tickets for the March 8 show tucked into the liner notes of a Deutsche Grammophon-issue recording of Schubert’s “Death and the Maiden” (String Quartet No. 14); passes for the April 5 concert in the card taped to a CD of Joaquin Turina’s Trio No. 2 in B minor.

For more information, stop by the shop or visit http://www.soliclassica.com, where SoliClassica also maintains a calendar of local classical events. — Jaye Bartell

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