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Thursday, February 21 , 2019, 6:58 am | Mostly Cloudy 43º


Gerald Carpenter: Santa Barbara Music Club Still Giving It Away

The ensemble will perform for free Saturday in the Faulkner Gallery

The next installment in the Santa Barbara Music Club’s hopefully endless series of free chamber music concerts will take place at 3 p.m. Saturday in the Faulkner Gallery of the Santa Barbara Central Library, 40 E. Anapamu St.

Charcoal sketch of Émile Paladilhe when he was about 18.
Charcoal sketch of Émile Paladilhe when he was about 18.

On the program for this concert we find Robert Muczynski’s Sonata for Flute and Piano (1965) ) by Linda Holland (flute) and Lynne Garrett (piano); Ludwig van Beethoven’s Sonata in G-Minor for Cello and Piano, Opus 5, No. 2 by Kathryn Mendenhall (cello) and Allen Bishop (piano); and four arias sung by soprano Deborah Bertling with pianist Richard Weiss — “Psyche” by Émile Paladilhe, “Vilia” from Franz Lehar’s ever-popular operetta The Merry Widow, “Belle nuit” from Jacques Offenbach’s Tales of Hoffmann and “Je veux vivre” from Charles Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette.

It has been frequently observed by musicologists that Beethoven transfigured and expanded virtually every form in which he composed. True though this may be, it is of abiding interest only to musicologists and musicians. Of more interest to the general music lover is the fact that one can trace Beethoven’s spiritual autobiography through his consecutive essays in most of these major forms: symphony, piano concerto, piano sonata, violin-piano sonata, cello-piano sonata, piano trio and string quartet.

And nowhere, I think, does this greatest of all composers chronicle his odyssey with such economy and grace as in the five sonatas for cello and piano. The second is almost Mendelssohnian in its delicate romanticism.

When Holland and Garrett played this Muczynski sonata at SBCC last fall, I wrote of it and its composer: “Robert Muczynski (1929-2010) was born and educated in Chicago. He was both a notable concert pianist and a composer of several chamber music pieces that have entered the standard repertory — in addition to his Sonata for Flute and Piano, there is also a popular sonata for alto saxophone and piano and Time Pieces for clarinet and piano — as well as several works for solo piano. His music sounds rather French at times, and the flute sonata has often been compared to that of Poulenc.”

Paladilhe (1844-1926), born in Montpellier, was a child prodigy and began his studies at the Conservatoire de Paris at age 10. He was the youngest winner ever of the Prix de Rome. He wrote several stage works, a symphony, several pieces of chamber music, and an extensive body of sacred music, including cantatas, motets, masses, chorales and a noted oratorio, Les Saintes-Marie de la mer.

For more information about the Music Club, click here or call 805.687.5537.

— Gerald Carpenter covers the arts as a Noozhawk contributor. He can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk or @NoozhawkNews.

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