Tuesday, June 19 , 2018, 11:12 am | Fair 64º


Gerald Carpenter: Pianist Ratimir Martinovic to Perform Solo Recital

Brilliant Montenegrin concert pianist Ratimir Martinovic will play a solo recital at 6:30 p.m. Thursday in Hahn Hall at the Music Academy of the West, 1070 Fairway Road in Santa Barbara.

Ratimir Martinovic
Ratimir Martinovic

The recital will be a fundraiser for Santa Barbara-Kotor Sister City projects (Kotor being a city on the Adriatic coast of Montenegro). A VIP reception will follow the performance.

Martinovic’s program will consist of Frédéric Chopin’s Scherzo in B-Flat Minor, No.2, Opus 31; Reinhold Glière’s Preludes, Opus 30 (No. 5, Andante; No. 21, Moderato); Wolfgang Mozart’s Fantasia No. 3 in D-Minor, K. 397; Johann Sebastian Bach’s “Chaconne” from the Partita in D-Minor for Solo Violin, BWV 1004 (arranged for piano by Ferruccio Busoni); César Franck’s Prélude, Fugue et Variation for Organ, Opus 18, No. 3 (transposed for piano by Ignaz Friedman); Nikolai Medtner’s Sonata in C-Minor, Opus 25, No. 1 “Fairy Tale”; and Chopin’s Andante spianato and Grande Polonaise Brilliante, Opus 22.

I must say this is an interesting program — except for the Franck, of course, and maybe Ignaz Friedman has been able to give even the great Belgian a charismatic glow. Assuming that you are familiar enough with Chopin, Bach, Franck and Mozart, I will jump right to Glière and Medtner.

Glière (1875-1956) was born in the Ukraine to a German father and a Polish mother. The original spelling of his name was Glier. Ca. 1900, for reasons of his own, he changed it to Glière, giving rise to a legend that he was of Belgian or French ancestry. As a committed Bolshevik and a romantic nationalist, it will come as no surprise that Glière never got into trouble with the Soviet authorities. Yet his music is neither timid nor boring, but passionate, tuneful and exciting.

Medtner (1880-1951) was born in Moscow and died in London. He was not a supporter of the 1917 Revolution, but stayed on in Russia until 1924, when his friend Sergei Rachmaninoff arranged an American tour for him. He did not settle in the United States, but in England. Medtner’s music is not immediately recognizable as Russian or Slavic. It is full of melody and delicate traceries of developments — I would almost say Mozartean, but that he also has a strong, relatively modern, sense of rhythm. Everything he wrote has a piano in it. The Sonata in C-Minor, Opus 25, No. 1 is the only one (of 14) that Rachmaninoff played.

Tickets to this recital are $32 for general admission and $12 for students (“VIP” tickets, which include preferred seating and post-recital reception, are $125). To purchase tickets, call the Music Academy of the West box office at 805.969.8787 or order online by clicking 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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