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Thursday, December 13 , 2018, 10:18 am | Fair 55º


Gerald Carpenter: New Flute-Harp Duo Plays Under the Song Tree

Suzanne Duffy and Jennifer Sayre team up at Live Oak Unitarian Universalist Congregation's Sunday concert

The fact that flautist Suzanne Duffy is a friend has never prevented me, out of some morbid professional delicacy, from broadcasting my enthusiasm for her playing or recommending that my readers attend whatever event in which she will participate. I was a fan before we became friends, and should she one day decide, as many others have done, that I am an unspeakable bore with whom she wants no further contact, I would still do my best to spread the word about this superb musician.

Flautist Suzanne Duffy and harpist Jennifer Sayre will debut at Live Oak Unitarian Universalist Congregation.
Flautist Suzanne Duffy and harpist Jennifer Sayre will debut at Live Oak Unitarian Universalist Congregation.

Accordingly, I am pleased to announce that Duffy has recently formed a performance duo with the excellent harpist Jennifer Sayre, and that said duo will play the January “Song Tree Classical Concert” at 3 p.m. Sunday at Live Oak Unitarian Universalist Congregation, 820 N. Fairview Ave.

Those who attended the Santa Barbara Music Club concert on Saturday will have had a partial preview of the duo’s Sunday program, the “Song of the Lark” (1989: “Song to the Waking Sun,” “Flight” “Into Darkness”) by Charles Rochester Young and “Les Cygnes” by Henri Büsser. The rest of the program will consist of the “Sonata in D Major for Flute and Harp” by Jean-Baptiste Krumpholz, “Baching the Blues (a Blues Chaconne)” by UCSB composer Earl Louis Stewart, “Fraîcheur for Solo Harp” by Carlos Salzedo and the “Serenade No. 10” of American Vincent Persichetti.

Krumpholz (1742-1790) was a Czech composer and harp virtuoso who grew up in Paris and had considerable success in his lifetime with both his compositions and his playing, in Paris and Vienna. He was also a noted teacher who married one of his most gifted pupils, who later left him and ran off to London with another musician. Bereft, Krumpholz drowned himself in the Seine.

Stewart, an associate professor in UCSB’s Department of Black Studies, received advanced degrees in composition at the University of Texas at Austin. The synthesis of Bach and the blues is a project dear to his heart.

Charles Moise Léon “Carlos” Salzedo (1885-1961) was a harpist, composer and conductor born in France of an ancient Sephardic lineage. His mother was court pianist to Queen Maria Cristina of Spain. When his mother died in his fifth year, Carlos and his family moved to Bordeaux, where a Basque woman was hired to take care of him. Carlos became so attached to her that he sent checks to her for the rest of her life and gradually came to think of himself as Basque. He moved to the United States in 1909, then back to France in 1914, where he was married in April that year and in August drafted into the French Army and served for two years during World War I. After that, he moved back to the United States, and ultimate died here, in Maine, unversally acknowledged as one of the greatest harpists who ever lived.

Tickets to the Song Tree Concert are $20 and can be purchased at the door, or ahead of time at Folk Mote Music, 1034 Santa Barbara St., 805.962.0830; at Jensen Guitar & Music, 2830 De la Vina St., 805.687.4027; or at Santa Barbara Sheet Music, 1036 Santa Barbara St., 805.966.3113.

— Gerald Carpenter covers the arts as a Noozhawk contributor. He can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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