A HOST OF Washington's best baroque and classical players have joined forces for the Capitol Hill Chamber Music Festival, continuing this week at St. Mark's Episcopal Church. Tuesday's concert features Jeffrey Cohan on period flute, along with violinist Risa Browder, violist Stephen Creswell and cellist John Moran. They'll play quartets and trios for flute and strings by Haydn, Mozart, Neubauer and Beethoven. Harpsichordist J. Reilly Lewis and violinist Leslie Nero join in on Thursday night for Bach's Brandenburg Concerto No. 5 and Washington premieres of unpublished concerti from the Library of Congress by Johann Joachim Quantz and Johann Georg Tromlitz.
-- Tim Page
At St. Mark's Episcopal Church, Third and A streets SE. Tuesday and Thursday at 8 p.m. Suggested donation $12-$18. Call 800-281-8026 or visit www.orgsites.com/dc/chcmf.
TIME HAS BEEN KIND to the goth-pop of the Cure, and that was not inevitable. The teased hair and red lipstick of lead singer and songwriter Robert Smith, those doomy tunes that turn self-pity into a fetish -- all very ripe for parody. Instead, the group that gave us "The Lovecats" and "Friday I'm in Love" is revered by an up-and-coming generation of bands and has a hit on its hands with a new, self-titled album. You can check out the Cure and its admirers at the Merriweather Post stop of the Curiosa Festival tour, where Interpol, the Rapture and Mogwai will warm up the crowd and then the headliners will really bring the bummer.
-- David Segal
At Merriweather Post Pavilion, Columbia. Friday at 5 p.m. $40-$75. Call 202-397-SEAT or visit www.merriweathermusic.com.
FRENCH MODERNISM has tended to be a pretty elegant affair, with Henri Matisse as its guiding light. Even the toughest Picassos often have a certain charm. So you'd be forgiven for thinking that painter Georges Rouault (1871-1958) had a drop of German in him; his fiercely expressionist paintings can look more suited to Weimar Berlin than to Paris. The Phillips owns a number of his works -- 12 oils and 25 works on paper -- and all of them are now on view in a single room on the museum's upper floor, alongside a handful of borrowed pieces. The display presents results from recent scientific studies of the museum's Rouault holdings. The science yields few surprises, but the art is full of them.
-- Blake Gopnik
At the Phillips Collection, 1600 21st St. NW, through Sept. 5. Open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday and noon-5 p.m. Sunday; Thursday till 8:30 p.m. $6-$8. Call 202-387-2151 or visit www.phillipscollection.org.