This preview has been provided by Mallarmé Chamber Players.
The Mallarmé Chamber Players HIP (historically-informed performance) and the Choral Society of Durham’s Chamber Choir will present a program of dramatic French baroque music.
The program is Sunday, February 22 at 3:00 pm at the First Presbyterian Church in downtown Durham. This concert marks the fifth collaboration of Mallarmé and the Choral Society of Durham’s Chamber Choir since 2009.
French Baroque music is defined by its elegance in form and style. The style originated in the French court; most notably in Versaille with Louis XIV and his composer, Jean-Baptiste Lully (1632-1687). Lully’s music was grand in stature and ornate, reflecting the architecture of the Versaille palace. He used lively popular dance musical forms, replacing slow and stately dances that had traditionally been performed in the court.
The Mallarmé HIP players will present the Concerto Comique No. 25 “Les Sauvages” by Michel Corrette, a series of works intended to be performed at the intermission of outdoor performances of Opéra Comiques. Each movement of the Concerto comiques was based on popular songs of the day; in this case the tune in the first movement titled “Les Sauvages” was written by English composer Henry Purcell in his opera Danse des Deux Indiens de la Louisiane (Dance of Two Indians of Lousiana) in 1725. It was later used by Jean-Philippe Rameau in a harpsichord suite and on the Danse du Calumet de la Paix (Dance of the Peace Pipe) in Les Indes Galantes.
Mallarmé will be joined by Rodney Wynkoop and the Choral Society of Durham’s Chamber Choir in two works: Jean-Philippe Rameau’s Motet Quam dilecta and Michel Gilles Requiem. Rameau (1683–1764) was a leader of French baroque music following in the footsteps of Lully, with a large body of cutting-edge work, including many operas. Gilles was a little-known composer who during his short life (1668-1705) was best known for his Requiem. Unfortunately he never heard the piece, as the work was first performed at Gilles own funeral (the original commissioner decided it was too expensive to perform) but it was so well-regarded that it was subsequently performed at many notable funerals including Rameau’s in 1764.
The Mallarmé musicians will be performing on instruments or replicas of instruments from 17th and 18th centuries. String players will play on gut strings and use short bows that have an outward bend, in contrast to modern bows that have an inward bend. Flutes will have no keys, just holes bored into the instrument, much like a recorder. The entire pitch of the ensemble will be lower with the tuning of the A=415 Hz instead of the modern A=440 Hz. Baroque music is almost always accompanied with a continuo: a group of keyboard and bass instruments that anchor the rhythm of the music. The February 22 concert will include a continuo of cello, violone, harpsichord, baroque organ and a theorbo which is a large lute.
For more information about the program and baroque historical performance style, please go to the Mallarmé website www.mallarmemusic.org
Sunday, February 22, 3:00 pm | DRAMA IN THE FRENCH BAROQUE
First Presbyterian Church, 305 E. Main St. Durham
$20 in advance | $25 at the door | $5 students Tickets available at the door and online mallarmemusic.org | 919/560-2788
Michel Corrette - Concerto Comique No. 25 in G Minor, “Les Sauvages”
Jean-Philippe Rameau - Motet, Quam dilecta
Jean Gilles - Requiem
Violin: Martha Perry, Andrew Bonner, Matvey Lapin,
Leah Peroutka, Eric Pritchard, Kirsten Swanson
Viola: Joey O’Donnell, Suzanne Rousso
Cello: Barbara Krumdieck
Violone: Robbie Link
Traverso flute: Rebecca Troxler, Kelly Roudabush
Harpsichord: Elaine Funaro
Theorbo: Anthony Harvey
Organ: Jane Lynch
Kristen Blackman, Soprano; Allison Wagstaff, Alto; Daniel Shirley, Tenor; Nate Jones, Baritone
ABOUT THE ORGANIZATIONS
The Choral Society of Durham, led by Rodney Wynkoop, has a long-standing reputation for excellence in performing great choral literature with professional orchestra and regionally and nationally known soloists. With an adventurous and varied repertoire ranging from the Renaissance to the 21st century, the Choral Society has attracted enthusiastic audiences since 1949.
The Choral Society typically does three performances per season. Our Christmas concerts feature classical works for the season and arrangements of traditional carols. Our spring concerts and our collaborations with the North Carolina Symphony, Duke Chapel Choir, and Duke Chorale have featured such choral masterworks as the Requiem masses of Mozart, Brahms, Verdi, Berlioz, Britten, and Fauré, Bach’s B-minor Mass and St. Matthew Passion, Vaughan Williams’ Dona Nobis Pacem, and Philip Glass’s Itaipú. The Choral Society also engages in outreach to music students in area public schools.
The 32-voice chamber choir, drawn from Choral Society members, also performs annually, is often featured in Choral Society concerts, and makes guest appearances in the community.
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 five concerts that features great, diverse, and multidisciplinary chamber music. Mallarmé performs everything from Bach with period instruments to brand new works. In this past year alone, Mallarmé has presented two world premières by composers Stephen Jaffe and Bo Newsome. In 2010, Mallarmé released a CD on Albany/Videmus records of chamber music by African American composers, featuring jazz vocalist Nnenna Freelon, to great acclaim.
Mallarmé is in its 31st season and has been the recipient of grants from The National Endowment for the Arts, North Carolina Arts Council, Durham Arts Council, Target Foundation and The Mary Duke Biddle Foundation. Mallarmé is a nonprofit, tax-exempt, 501(c) (3) organization. The 2014-15 concert season is made possible in part by grants from the Durham Arts Council’s Annual Arts Fund and the North Carolina Arts Council. mallarmemusic.org