Sundays at Three Concert to Highlight Italian Music for Violin

Cape Girardeau’s new chamber music series, “Sundays at 3,” will present the third concert of its inaugural season at 3 p.m. Feb. 15, featuring Italian music for violin.

Brandon Christensen (violin) and Jeffrey Noonan (lute, theorbo and guitar) will present a program of suites and sonatas spanning the 17th to 19th centuries. The program will open with a short Largo movement from Antonio Vivaldi’s “Winter” concerto, arranged for violin and lute. The second piece, an extended suite, was composed by Nicolo Matteis. Matteis, an Italian violin virtuoso, spent many productive years in London, where he was acclaimed for his exciting performances. The first half of the program will conclude with a sonata by Arcangelo Corelli, one of Italy’s most important instrumental composers of the 17th century.

The second half of the program will move to the 19th century, opening with a brief but charming “Cantabile” by the virtuoso Niccolb Paganini. Besides being Europe’s premiere violinist, Paganini was an accomplished guitarist and composed a number of pieces for bowed strings with guitar accompaniment. The concert will conclude with Mauro Giuliani’s “Grand Duo Concertant, Op. 85.” Giuliani was one of the most important early 19th-century guitar virtuosi and left many beautiful and demanding pieces for guitar and violin.

Christensen and Noonan will present this concert on period instruments, fitted with gut strings as would have been the case in earlier eras. Christensen’s French violin dates from the 18th century, and Noonan will play on reproductions of instruments in use in the baroque era. Neither the Matteis nor the Corelli call for a specific accompanying instrument, although harpsichord is most often used today. For this program, however, the accompaniment will be played on theorbo, a large lute, which stands at just over six feet long. For the Paganini and Giuliani, Noonan will play an American-made guitar which dates from the 1850s.

Tickets are $10 and are available by calling the Performing Arts Box Office at (573) 651-2265 or in the box office in the lobby of the Forrest H. Rose Theatre. Tickets will also be available at the door.