The Santa Barbara Music Club is putting on a special — my word, not theirs — concert at 3 p.m. Saturday in the Faulkner Gallery of the Santa Barbara Central Library. It is a special concert, but still a free one.
The works and the artists performing will be as follows: the Sonata for Solo Piano in Bb-Major, K. 281 by Wolfgang Mozart (with Marian Drandell Gilbert on piano); the First Movement “Rondo pastorale” from the Concerto in A-Minor for Oboe and Strings (1944) of Ralph Vaughan Williams (with Adelle Rodkey on oboe and Mandee Sikich on piano); and three contemporary art songs — “Kalá, Kallá” by Eric Whitacre, “Love Is a Rain of Diamonds” by Gwyneth Walker and “Dance on My Heart” by Allen Koepke (with San Marcos High School’s Advanced Women’s Choir, “Enchanté,” under Music Director Carolyn Teraoka-Brady; and Sofiya Prykhitko on violin and David Potter on piano).
The afternoon will close with four sacred songs, Cantante domino by Claudio Monteverdi (1567-1643), Il bianco e dolce cigno by Jacques Arcadelt (1507-1568), The Road Home by Stephen Paulus (born in 1949) and the traditional/spiritual Wade in the Water performed by the San Marcos High School Madrigal Singers, under Teraoka-Brady.
The Mozart sonata will make its own case more eloquently than I ever could.
Williams wrote very few concerted works — two for violin, one for bass tuba, and this one for oboe and strings (the best of the lot, I think, although “The Lark Ascending” is a close second). It was written for British virtuoso Léon Goossens and sounds quite a bit like V-W’s admiring contemporary, Sir Arnold Bax, with its lilting Celtic melodies and lush string background.
No space to pursue the composers of the vocal selections — that would require a lengthy essay, for each one. They range from the 16th century to the 21st, and I imagine the performances will send us scurrying out to hear more examples by those we are hearing for the first time.
As I say, there is no admission charge to this concert, or almost any concert of the Music Club, but you are invited and encouraged to contact the Music Club and make a donation to guarantee the continuance of their great work. Click here to reach them at their user-friendly website.