Sometimes a concert is more than a concert — it's a chronology, or a comprehensive overview. There are several distinctive music shows this week that benefit from being on grand theater stages.
The Genius of Mozart, at the Bushnell (166 Capitol Ave., Hartford; (860) 987-5900, bushnell.org) from March 14 through 17, is part of Hartford Symphony Orchestra's Masterworks Series. It features four works by the composer, starting with the symphony he wrote when he was eight years old and ending with his last symphony, No. 41, the "Jupiter." Also on the program are the Concerto for Violin No. 3 and the Concerto for Clarinet, which was written shortly before Mozart's death in 1791 at the age of 35. The clarinet soloist is Curt Blood. Leonid Sigal conducts.
The Mozart show isn't the only orchestral concert in the area on Thursday dedicated to a single legendary composer. Pianist Louis Lortie joins the century-old Beethoven Orchestra Bonn to tackle Beethoven's "Emperor" Concerto at UConn's Jorgensen Auditorium (2132 Hillside Road, Storrs; (860) 486-4226), 7:30 p.m. March 14. A talk by Dr. Alain Frogley precedes the concert, at 6:45 p.m. Tickets are $39-$46, with discounts for students and UConn alumni.
The Waterbury Palace (100 East Main St., Waterbury; (203) 346-2000, palacetheaterct.org) rolls over Beethoven and presents the Broadway-friendly Beatles tribute band Rain March 15 and 16. The band's entire decade-plus existence is covered, with costume changes to delineate the changing eras, from Merseybeat to Sgt. Pepper to Abbey Road.
Back at the Bushnell a few nights later, El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico's appearance at the Bushnell on March 17 at 6 p.m. ($58) isn't just a night with a very large and extremely popular salsa orchestra. It's El Gran Combo's 50th anniversary tour, giving them license to pluck hits from each phase of a long and varied career. The actual 50th anniversary date was May of last year, but these guys apparently just don't stop touring. The concert encompasses half a century, while the tour touches down on five continents.
That's a pretty wide ethnic and historical mix for a time of year that's traditionally overwhelmed with Irish music. By the way, the latest Celtic Woman tour is at the Oakdale (95 S. Turnpike Road., Wallingford; (203) 265-1501; oakdale.com) March 15 ($47-$77).