The stellar chamber music association Camerata Pacifica will play its February concerts at 1 and 7:30 p.m. Friday in Hahn Hall on the Music Academy of the West campus, 1070 Fairway Road in Santa Barbara.
The Camerata members performing will be pianist Adam Neiman, percussionist Ji Hye Jung and flautist Adrian Spence — who is, of course, founder and artistic director of Camerata.
The 7:30 p.m. concert will consist of Johann Sebastian Bach's Sonata for Solo Violin No. 1 in G-Minor, BWV 1001(arr. Ji Hye Jung); Bohuslav Martinu’s Sonata for Flute and Piano, H. 306 (1945); four solo piano pieces by Frederic Chopin — Ballade No. 2 in F-Major, Opus 38, Nocturne in Db-Major, Opus 27, No.2, Waltz No. 7 in C#-Minor, Opus 64, No. 2, Nocturne in F#-Major, Opus 15, No. 2; plus two works by contemporary New Zealanders — "Kembang Suling" for Flute and Percussion by Gareth Farr (born in 1968) and One Study One Summary by John Psathas (born in 1966).
Those attending the 1 p.m. lunchtime concert will hear all but the Farr and Psathas pieces.
Adrian Spence continues to be an ideal impresario for contemporary, and near contemporary, music. There is never too much, and what there is has been chosen with exquisite taste.
The representative work of official European Modernism, the Martinu sonata, is sensuous, elegant, sometimes playful, occasionally haunting, frequently beautiful and always coherent. (No question here of playing "Bite-the-bourgeois-hand-that-feeds-you.") The two works from New Zealand are — each in its own way — hypnotically listenable, broadly minimalist in their tapestry construction, but not so rigidly architectural and sterile as the American proponents of the theory.
"Kembang Suling" is in three parts, which are characterized, by the program notes for the 1996 premiere, as follows: "I. On the magical island of Bali, flowing gamelan melodies intertwine with the sound of the 'suling' (Balinese bamboo flute) to form rich colourful tapestries. The marimba and flute start out as one, their sounds indistinguishable. Bit by bit the flute asserts its independence, straying further and further from the marimba melody. An argument ensues — but all is resolved at the climax. II. The haunting sounds of the Japanese ‘shakuhachi’ flute float out over the warm echoes of the rolling landscape. III. Complex rhythms and South Indian scales set the two instruments off in a race to see who can outplay the other. The marimba is set in a three bar cycle of 5/4 + 5/8 + 5/6 but the flute plays a different cross rhythm each time, returning to the marimba’s pattern at the end of every cycle."
His publishers describe the Psathas work as follows: "One Study One Summary was composed by John Psathas for Portuguese percussion virtuoso Pedro Carneiro, who first performed the work at the 'Rhythm Sticks' Festival in London in 2005. Carneiro has since performed it across New Zealand, Japan, and most recently, the Percussive Arts Society International Conference (PASIC) in Austin, Texas, USA on 8 November 2008. This work is for soloist and tape, and having been composed for Carneiro, takes advantage of the performer's collection of 'junk percussion'. This edition features two options for performance: live marimba and junk percussion, with audio; or live marimba only, with audio."
This rather clinical and logistic treatment gives no hint of the dark colors and mysterious textures of the work in performance.
For tickets and other concert information, call the Camerata Pacifica at 805.884.8410 or visit its website by clicking here.