This preview has been provided by Mallarmé Chamber Players.

Before the Super Bowl on Sunday, February 5th, join the Mallarmé Chamber Players in a Durham house concert presenting yummy string and harpsichord music by 18th century Italian composers. In addition to the music, there will be a selection of light antipasti served following the concert.

The players will perform on period instruments with classical performance practices. The music illustrates the transition from the baroque trio sonata form to classical sonata form. Classical chamber music essentially eliminates the use of basso continuo as a structural element with fully independent keyboard and cello parts.

The quintet for strings and harpsichord obbligato in C Major by Tommaso Giordani is an excellent example of a work that features the harpsichord as a solo instrument instead of part of the continuo. Giordani was born in Naples around 1730 and was best known for his operas and chamber music. He wrote 5 quintets in his op. 1 series that feature the harpsichord with a string quartet.

Two string duos will also be performed on the program; one by Carlo Antonio Campioni, whose history is largely undocumented. However, it is know that from 1763-1788 he was maestro di cappella to the Grand Duke of Florence. Most of his surviving music is instrumental including the Opus 8 duos for two violins of which the 2nd in F Major will be performed by Elizabeth Field and Allison Nyquist.

Alessandro Rolla, born in Pavia in 1757, was a violin/viola virtuoso and composer. He is best known as the teacher of Paganini, the great 18th century violin virtuoso, yet he was also instrumental to the development of violin and viola technique. He was quite prolific, and wrote over 500 works, including at least 40 duos for violin and viola. These range from “easy” short duos to immensely virtuosic music for both players including several divertimenti for viola with violin accompaniment. The Op 15 No. 3 duo, one of more equal demands for each instrument with memorable melodies, will be performed by Elizabeth Phelps and Suzanne Rousso.

The concert will end with music of Luigi Boccherini, born in Lucca Italy in 1743. A cellist himself, Boccherini wrote around 100 quintets, most scored for 2 violins, viola and 2 cellos. Mallarmé will present one of the rare quintets written for the more traditional configuration of the string quintet; 2 violins, 2 violas and 1 cello.

Guest cellist Loretta O’Sullivan will join Mallarmé in this program; she in nationally known for her baroque, classical and modern cello performance as a member of the Four Nations Ensemble and The Orchestra of St. Luke’s; both based in New York City.

Series Concert 4: ANTIPASTI
Sunday, February 5, 3:00 PM – 5:00 PM
House Concert


Carlo Antonio Campioni – Duo for Two Violins in F Major, Op 8, No. 2
Tommaso Giordani – Quintet for harpsichord and strings in C Major, Op. 1. No. 5
Allesandro Rolla – Duo for Violin and Viola in C Major, Op. 15, No. 3
Luigi Boccherini – String Quintet in A Major, Op. 60, No. 3

ARTISTS Elizabeth Field – violin
Elizabeth Phelps – violin
Allison Nyquist – violin/viola
Suzanne Rousso – viola
Loretta O’Sullivan – cello
Elaine Funaro – harpsichord

TICKETS $30 in advance
919.560.2788 or


The Mallarmé Chamber Players are a flexible ensemble of professional musicians based in Durham, North Carolina, whose mission is to enrich the lives of their community through outstanding chamber music. The ensemble distinguishes itself by its innovative educational programs, its commitment to creative collaboration with other organizations, its creation of significant new work, and its dedication to serve a diverse population.

Mallarmé annually presents a series of concerts that features great, diverse, and multidisciplinary chamber music. Mallarmé performs everything from Bach with period instruments to commission and performing brand new works. In 2010, Mallarmé released, to great acclaim, a cd on Albany/Videmus records of chamber music by African American composers.

Mallarmé is unique in that they do not work with a core of musicians, but instead use the musical talent North Carolina has to offer to perform with the ensemble depending on the needs of the repertoire. Most of Mallarmé’s musicians are members of professional organizations like the NC Symphony or are faculty members of the numerous institutions of higher learning.

Mallarmé is a non-profit, tax-exempt, 501(c) 3 organization. The 2016-17 concert season is made possible in part by grants from the Durham Arts Council’s Annual Arts Fund and the North Carolina Arts Council.