This preview has been provided by the Chamber Orchestra of the Triangle.

The Chamber Orchestra of the Triangle brings to the stage of The Carolina Theatre of Durham the raw yet beautiful emotions of love doomed to tragedy as expressed by the great playwrights and composers of the 19th and 20th centuries. The concert takes place on Sunday, March 20th at 3pm in Fletcher Hall. These glorious and some too rarely heard pieces will be brought to added life by the interpretative narration of David Hammond, renowned actor and professor of theater at Juilliard, American Conservatory Theater, Yale School of Drama, Institute for Advanced Theater Training at Harvard, and for many years artistic director of PlayMakers Repertory Theater at UNCCH.

The concert opens with Gabriel Fauré’s “Suite from Pelleas et Melisande, op. 80” composed in 1898 for the London premiere of Maurice Maeterlinck’s play of the same name. Composed as theater music, Fauré himself a few years later orchestrated this four movement suite to be performed by a large classical orchestra and with newly scored climaxes in three of the movements. Alas, the magnificently moving final movement portrays the death of the beautiful Melisande, and was so loved by Fauré that it was played for his own funeral. 

The first half of the concert will conclude with Antonin Dvořák’s “Overture to Othello”. ​Conductor and Artistic Director Lorenzo ​Muti is critically acclaimed for his conducting of Dvořák and this great overture is too rarely heard. Composed purely as a concert overture (not an opera overture), Othello dates to 1892 and was the ” love” part of a trilogy of concert overtures, the first two being “nature” and “life”. As a concert overture it was composed to portray a story and is massively scored for full strings plus two flutes (Flute I doubling piccolo), two oboes, English horn, two clarinets in A, two bassoons, four horns, two trumpets, three trombones, tuba, timpani, bass drum, cymbals, harp and strings.

The second half of the concert opens with Hector Berlioz’s excerpts from “Romeo et Juliet” composed in 1839-47​ and ​is a virtuoso symphonic telling of Shakespeare’s play presented in five movements, of which the great second part will be performed. Considered to be one of Berlioz’s finest symphonic pieces, it stands alone in the concert halls of the world as the music heralded him as the true heir to Beethoven and profound influence on Wagner (who attended the premier). It is filled with elegant oboe work and woodwinds of great delicacy juxtaposed with torrents of symphonic excitement, a riot of color and rhythms. We will encounter Romeo alone filled with sadness as well as royal halls of great festivity. We will experience the love of Romeo and Juliet through Shakespeare’s word interpreted by David Hammond and through Berlioz’s rapturous music.

The concert concludes with a superb and internationally loved piece, Aram Khachaturian’s “Adagio from Spartacus”. From his infinitely popular ballet music for “Spartacus”, a perennial favorite of the Bolshoi when performing in Russia, the composer created Orchestral Suites in 1955, of which “The Adagio of Spartacus and Phrygia” celebrating their escape from the evil Roman consul Crassus is one of the most ravishingly beautiful orchestral pieces of his career. The adagio can safely be included among the best known pieces of classical music throughout the world, and one of the few ways that the world really knows Armenian music.

Sunday, March 20, 2016, 3pm

Carolina Theatre of Durham
Fletcher Hall
309 W. Morgan St.
Durham, NC 27701

Box Office: (919) 560-3030

Tickets available in advance or at the door

$25.00/adult – inclusive of taxes and fees

FREE to students of every age


About the Chamber Orchestra of the Triangle

Since 1982, The Chamber Orchestra of the Triangle has been received with genuine respect and enthusiasm by music critics and the community. Today, it is considered one of the finest professional ensembles in North Carolina and the Southeast. With its elite corps of musicians, the orchestra continues to present a well-chosen and unusual repertoire that delights audiences and evokes high praise from critics. That standard of excellence has become the hallmark of the orchestra and has distinguished each succeeding season. The 2015-2016 series marks its 33rd concert season. For more information, visit or call 919.360.3382

We are so confident in this orchestra, we provide any new-comer a complementary ticket because we know they will return as happily paying patrons. In the past ten years our audiences have grown from an average of 100 to an average of 600–an extraordinary statement about the quality of music created by this outstanding ensemble guided by the effervescent Lorenzo Muti. To emphasize its commitment to engaging young people with great classical music, the orchestra provides free seating at every concert to students of all ages.