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Sunday, February 17 , 2019, 2:29 am | Fair 48º


Gerald Carpenter: Three’s a Charm for Chamber Orchestra

The Santa Barbara ensemble will perform Delius, Stravinsky and Mozart on Tuesday

This month’s concert by the Santa Barbara Chamber Orchestra will be at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday in the Lobero Theatre. Maestro Heiichiro Ohyama will conduct, and Alessio Bax, a rising young star of the keyboard, will appear as guest pianist.

The Chamber Orchestra’s program consists of three works: Frederick Delius’ Two Pieces for Small Orchestra (1911, 1912), Igor Stravinsky’s concert ballet, Danses Concertantes (1942) and Wolfgang Mozart’s Concerto No. 24 in C-Minor for Piano and Orchestra, K. 491, with Bax as soloist.

Delius’ Two Pieces are much better known individually as “On Hearing the First Cuckoo in Spring” and “Summer Night on the River.” Those of us who adore Delius usually have a lot of explaining to do: How can we be so passionate about all that tranquility? In the case of these two short tone poems — for once the term is justified — I think it will be a rare, and unhappy, listener who is not instantly caught and drawn into the mood of dreamy ecstasy, the fairy-tale enchantment of this yearning soul’s experience of nature.

The Stravinsky is unknown to me. It is classed as a ballet, but was written without a scenario, at about the same time as the Circus Polka and the Four Norwegian Moods — though that doesn’t mean it will sound like them.

It is always presumptuous, and usually foolhardy, to attempt ranking a Mozart work, and truly, the scale and emotional power of the Concerto in c-minor place it in a class by itself. It is the most final and unanswerable of last words. Even Ludwig van Beethoven couldn’t top it, though he tried with his Third, a rather shameless copy.

Tickets to the concert are available at the Lobero box office at 33 E. Canon Perdido St. or 805.963.0761, or click here to purchase tickets online.

— 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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