Summer Chamber Music at the Clark, the series of four Tuesday evening classical concerts in August, begins on Aug. 6. The Clark Art Institute's auditorium is, many feel, among the best in the region to experience the pleasures and subtleties of chamber music - with its excellent acoustics, commodious seating and perfect sight lines.
Here's a preview of the four concerts:
* Tuesday, Aug. 6, at 8 p.m.: The Concertante Players, a string sextet consisting of two violins, two violas and two cellos, will perform music by Elgar, Dvorak and Brahms.
Why go? The incredible richness and depth of the six strings in this lush, Romantic repertoire pulsate with incomparable beauty.
* Tuesday, Aug. 13, at 8 p.m.: The Gryphon Piano Trio (violin, cello and piano) will perform a diverse program across the musical spectrum.
Why go? A jovial Haydn trio, two delectable tangos by the Argentinean master Astor Piazzolla and a new work, "Old Photograph," by the Greek composer Christos Hatzis, will precede the finale - Ravel's breathtaking Trio in A minor.
* Tuesday, Aug. 20, at 8 p.m.: The brilliant Dover String Quartet will perform two classic works: Beethoven's Quartet Op. 59, No. 2 and Brahms' Quartet in A minor, Op. 51, No. 2.
Why go? The three works are powerful and passionate, and utilize the full expressive resources of the string quartet. Friends of Prof. Shainman and his family are especially invited to remember this generous, kind and loving man who, in the course of a long and productive life, did so much for the arts in Williamstown, the region and the nation.
* Tuesday, Aug. 27, at 8 p.m.: The venerable Dorian Wind Quintet (flute, oboe, clarinet, horn and bassoon) is joined by pianist Spencer Meyer in a program of quintets by Anton Reicha (1770-1836), Bach organ works arranged for wind quintet and the Piano Sextet by Ludwig Thuille (composed 1886-88).
Why go? Hearing woodwind players of this outstanding ability will be a rare treat: chamber music that will invite you to appreciate the matchless beauty of sound these instruments can produce in an intimate setting.
Concert tickets are $25 general admission, $20 members, $10 students. Prior to each concert, the Clark offers a varied three-course, fixed price ($29) dinner at 6 p.m. in the Clark Café.
For tickets and required dinner reservations, call 413-458-0524 or visit clarkart.edu. The Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute is located at 225 South St.
* Friday, Aug. 2, at 8:30 p.m. in the Shed: Maestro Stephane Deneve conducts the BSO, with soloists pianist Lars Vogt and soprano Lucy Crowe and the Tanglewood Festival Chorus in a program of Richard Strauss' "Death and Transfiguration," Beethoven's Fourth Piano Concerto and Poulenc's "Stabat Mater."
Why go? The Strauss tone poem is a profoundly moving depiction of a life's journey - as told via flashbacks - of joy, love and sorrow. The Beethoven Concerto is a perfect piece, full of tenderness, nobility and bliss.
* Saturday, Aug. 3, at 8:30 p.m. in the Shed: Charles Dutoit leads the BSO, with soloist pianist Lang Lang and the Tanglewood Festival Chorus in Ravel's "Pavane for a Dead Princess" and "Daphnis et Chloe" (complete), and Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 1.
Why go? Luxuriate in the lush orchestral wizardry of Ravel's orchestration ("Daphnis" is a BSO specialty), and superstar Lang Lang will charm you with the easy grace of his performance.
* Tuesday, Aug. 6, at 8:30 p.m. in the Shed: "Tanglewood on Parade" is always a big summer extravaganza, and features the BSO, the Boston Pops and the Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra - led by Stephane Deneve, Charles Dutoit, Keith Lockhart and John Williams - performing audience favorites: Borodin's Polovetsian Dances, Gershwin's "American in Paris," Leonard Bernstein's music from the film "On the Waterfront," and Tchaikovsky's "1812 Overture," followed by fireworks.
Why go? For a rousing good time, don't miss this one. It's a highlight of the season.
Additional recommended upcoming Tanglewood concerts in brief:
* Wednesday, Aug. 7, at 8 p.m. in Ozawa hall: Piano recital by Christian Zacharias with works of Beethoven, Schubert and Schumann.
* Saturday, Aug.10, at 8:30 p.m. in the Shed: Maestro Christoph von Dohnanyi leads the BSO in works by Elliott Carter, Beethoven (the Piano Concerto No. 3 with soloist Yefim Bronfman) and Brahms' Fourth Symphony.
* Wednesday, Aug. 14, at 8 p.m. in Ozawa Hall: The renowned Emerson String Quartet performs a program of Haydn, Beethoven and Benjamin Britten (the great Third String Quartet).
* The Festival of Contemporary music, Thursday, Aug. 8 - Monday, Aug. 12, all in Ozawa Hall: Morning, afternoon and evening solo, chamber music, chamber orchestra and opera performances. Check online at tanglewood.com for details.
Tickets for all Tanglewood events can be purchased online at tanglewood.org, via SymphonyCharge at 888-266-1200 and at the Tanglewood box office located at the main gate, on West Street in Lenox.