Tuesday, August 21 , 2018, 12:05 am | A Few Clouds 67º


Santa Barbara Music Club Schedules Two Great Pianists

Betty Oberacker and Zeynep Ucbasaran tune up for works of Chopin, Liszt and Beethoven

The Santa Barbara Music Club’s free concert — at 3 p.m. Saturday Santa Barbara Central Library’s Faulkner Gallery — will showcase the talents of two extraordinary pianists, Zeynep Ucbasaran and Betty Oberacker, the latter in collaboration with the gifted fiddler, Philip Ficsor.

Ucbasaran will perform three works by Frederic Chopin — the “Polonaise No. 1 in c-sharp minor, Opus 26;” the “Polonaise No. 2 in e-flat minor, Op. 26;” and the “Scherzo No. 3 in c-sharp minor, Opus 39” — and one by Franz Liszt, his “Grande paraphrase de la marche de Donizetti.”

Oberacker and Ficsor will play the “Piano-Violin Sonata No. 10 in G Major, Opus 96,” by Ludwig van Beethoven.

I was somewhat surprised, upon consulting Ucbasaran’s discography, to learn she has so far recorded no Chopin, but has devoted two whole CDs to his friend and contemporary, Liszt. Zeynep, with her exquisite delicacy and poetic soul, would have seemed to have a natural affinity for the Pole. She has recorded five discs worth of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and one of Franz Schubert. So we have grounds for hope that she will soon be giving us a permanent record of her insights on the works of the most “poetic” of all keyboard composers. The three Chopin works on the Music Club program make it a special treat.

The “Opus 96” is the last of Beethoven’s 10 Piano-Violin sonatas. Some nine years separate it from its famous and spectacular predecessor, the “Sonata in A Major, Opus 47,” the “Kreutzer,” from which it is as different, in the words of Sidney Finkelstein, “as it is possible for one masterpiece to be from another by the same hand.” Beethoven has left behind the questing world of the “Kreutzer,” the “Appassionata,” the “Eroica,” and has moved on to the resignation and lofty tranquility of the late quartets. The pianist for the premiere performance in 1812 was the same Archduke Rudolf, crown prince of Austria, for whom Beethoven had written the “Archduke Trio.” I’m sure Rudy was a decent enough pianist — not that any critic would want to risk imprisonment by trashing the piano-playing of an archduke — but I’m sure any objective judge would say Betty played it better.

— Gerald Carpenter covers the arts as a Noozhawk contributor.

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 through Stripe below, 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
Enter your email
Select your membership level

Payment Information

You are purchasing:

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.

  • 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.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >