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Gerald Carpenter: Violinist Leonidas Kavakos to Make Santa Barbara Recital Debut

Leonidas Kavakos
Leonidas Kavakos

UCSB Arts & Lectures will offer the Santa Barbara recital debut by violin virtuoso Leonidas Kavakos, with pianist Enrico Pace, at 7 p.m. Friday in Hahn Hall at the Music Academy of the West.

Kavakos, who comes lavishly recommended by the world press, has chosen a very impressive calling card for his introduction to Santa Barbara audiences: an all-Beethoven program consisting of the Sonata No. 1 in D-Major, Opus 12, No. 1, the Sonata No. 5 in F-Major, Opus 24, “Spring” and the Sonata No. 9 in A-Major, Opus 47, “Kreutzer.”

There are very few composers whose works can sustain or survive this kind of saturation — not just three works, but three sonatas for violin and piano. Consider the contrasts between the “Spring” and “Kreutzer,” the sweet, simple lyricism of the former versus the restless agitation, the urgency, of the latter. You don’t have to be educated to hear the difference between them, you can feel it.

An all-Bach or all-Mozart concert for the same forces (violin and keyboard) might sound good in theory, which sounds good in theory generally turns out to be monotonous in the hall.

Beethoven certainly grew greater as he grew older, but his earlier music often sparkles with a devastating charm, and in the later works one sometimes misses the extroverted youth, who was both a great poet and a show-off — and obviously irresistible.

Admission to this concert is $30 for the general public, $9 for UCSB students, and we may assume limited availability. For tickets and/or information, call the A&L box office at 805.893.3535 or click here.

— Gerald Carpenter covers the arts as a Noozhawk contributing writer. He can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). The opinions expressed are his own.

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