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A week of variety 

Variety's the name of the game this week, starting with a big experiment involving traditional musicians and an outfit some folks find a tad uptown--the North Carolina Symphony. Thanks to the encouragement of Joe Newberry (Department of Cultural Resources) and George Holt (N.C. Museum of Art), the orchestra hosts a flock of outstanding N.C. artists in a whole new setting, augmented by charts done up just for this concert. "Blue Skies and Red Earth" is a celebration of Tar Heelia, for sure--and with luck it will be a humdinger of an occasion. It's part of the orchestra's big 75th anniversary season, kicking off a year that will bring a series of commissioned "postcards" from leading N.C. composers and much more.

Otherwise, there's an array of chamber music and recitals. In the former category, the Mallarmé Chamber Players--after 23 years of eclectic music-making--are embarking on their last season. The opening concert in the ensemble's "Music on Main Street" series features soprano Susanna Eyton-Jones and some high-horsepower supporting artists in a program of songs by Lecuona and Granados, plus other works by Gabriela Lena Frank, Villa-Lobos and Ginastera.

The day before, at Duke, there's a very attractive program in the Nelson Music Room: Frances Hsieh, violin, Brian Howard, cello, and Elizabeth Tomlin, piano, perform music by Bach, Ravel and Ysaÿe, ending the concert with Beethoven's "Ghost" Trio.

And, immediately after the Mallarméistas, there's what promises to be a superb early music concert in a private home by Trio Rossignol, whose members play a wide array of instruments--recorders, sackbuts, pipes, abors, shawms, curtals, organettos, lutes and cornettos. Call 683-9672 for reservations and directions.

Two free recitals also mark the docket: Mozart sonatas played by Samuel Breene, violin, and Randall Love, fortepiano, are set for Sept. 14 (Nelson Music Room, Duke, 8 p.m.), and Russian keyboard masterworks will be played by Karen Allred on Sept. 18 (Carswell Concert Hall, Meredith College, 8 p.m.).

CVNC currently features an end-of-summer interview with John Candler, president and CEO of the Brevard Music Festival, at cvnc.org/reviews/2006/features06/BMC20.html, and a discussion of George Crumb's revolutionary "Black Angels," as performed by the Borromeo String Quartet on Cape Cod in early August, at cvnc.org/reviews/2006/features06/CCMF.html.

And be sure to check CVNC's compilation of things to hear in concert series throughout the Triangle, available at cvnc.org/calendar/series.html.

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