Pixel Tracker

Tuesday, December 18 , 2018, 9:49 pm | Fair 49º


Gerald Carpenter: Santa Barbara Symphony to String Us Along

Violinists Caroline Campbell and Serena McKinney team up for 'Double Treble' at 3 p.m. Sunday

The Santa Barbara Symphony calls its next brace of concerts — at 8 p.m. Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday at The Granada — “Double Treble.” The title is both a play on the catchphrase “double trouble” and a reference to the featured violinists.

Violinist Serena McKinney is the Santa Barbara Symphony's assistant concertmaster
Violinist Serena McKinney is the Santa Barbara Symphony’s assistant concertmaster.

The musicians are not just violinists, of course, but the concertmaster and assistant concertmaster of the symphony: Caroline Campbell and Serena McKinney. They are scheduled to start the evening/afternoon as soloists in the Concerto in D-Minor for Two Violins and Orchestra, BWV 1043 of Johann Sebastian Bach.

The string section being in the ascendant, at least for the first half of the concert, the symphony will go on to play Sir Edward Elgar’s Introduction and Allegro for Strings, Opus 47. After the intermission we will hear arguably the greatest, and certainly among the most transformational, symphonies ever composed: the Symphony No. 3 in E-Flat Major, Opus 55 “Eroica” by Ludwig Beethoven.

With one exception, whenever I hear a piece of Bach’s music described as “romantic,” I think somebody is trying to sell me something. A greater composer than Bach never lived, but romantic he was not. The one exception is the second movement of the D-Minor Concerto.

So far from being romantic, Bach’s music is never even sentimental, yet this movement is both — not to say wistful, nostalgic, exquisite, pensive, anything you like. There is nothing quite like it, and once you have heard it, you never forget it.

As usual with his orchestral scores, Elgar’s Introduction and Allegro manages to be voluptuous and diffident at the same time. It is a lovely work, with a fair amount of fancy contrapuntal writing in the second half.

Beethoven was originally going to name his third symphony after Napoleon — until the man proclaimed himself emperor. With his hyper-humanity, the composer embodies our ambivalence toward the Little Corporal.

Beethoven loathed war, yet was drawn, like all of us, toward glory. Bonaparte crowning himself — literally snatching the crown from the cleric’s hands and putting it on his own head — provoked a severe crisis in Beethoven’s emotional life (already precarious since he was aware that he was going deaf). He tore up the title page of the symphony, and he might have destroyed the whole score if his friends hadn’t intervened. I’m sure glad he didn’t.

Tickets to these concerts are available from the Granada box office, at 1214 State St., or 805.899.2222, or click here to purchase them online.

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

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made using a credit card, Apple Pay or Google Pay, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments and a mailing address for checks.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Noozhawk Supporter

First name
Last name
Select your monthly membership
Or choose an annual membership

Payment Information

Membership Subscription

You are enrolling in . Thank you for joining the Hawks Club.

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover
One click only, please!

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.
You may cancel your membership at any time by sending an email to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.