ROCKPORT — Chamber music. What does that mean, anyway? Think of music performed by small ensembles in 18th century settings — small rooms, living rooms, large dining rooms or ballrooms. Those are chambers, hence the name “chamber music.” DaPonte String Quartet members perform in such a chamber — Union Hall, 24 Central St. — Sunday, Dec. 4, at 3 p.m.

Since the retirement of founding violinist Ferdinand Liva, members of the DaPonte String Quartet have taken the wonderful opportunity to present a program of duo and trio literature in an intimate and engaging setting. The Beethoven C Minor Trio, the Ernö Dohnányi Serenade, and the Mozart Duo in B Flat Major comprise the works on the program and represent three jewels of chamber music literature.

The Beethoven piece, written at the height of his first compositional period, exemplifies his early mastery of the genre. Written in 1902, Dohnányi’s Serenade for String Trio is packed with dramatic twists and turns. If you’ve not heard the Hungarian composer’s work, you are in for smiles, surprises and sense of wonder. Mozart’s B Flat Duo, K424 was originally presented as part of a set of works by Michael Haydn, the younger brother of Franz Joseph. Mozart’s genius would not remain disguised though, as his “obvious workmanship” shone brightly.

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