Friday, March 23 , 2018, 10:27 am | Fair 60º


Gerald Carpenter: Cellist Geoffrey Rutkowski to Lead Faculty Recital

He'll be joined Saturday by UCSB colleagues and pianists Natasha Kislenko and Charles Asche

Cellist Geoffrey Rutkowski
Cellist Geoffrey Rutkowski

Master cellist Geoffrey Rutkowski, a UCSB professor and principal at the Santa Barbara Symphony, will perform a recital — always good news — with UCSB faculty pianists Natasha Kislenko and Charles Asche at 4 p.m. Saturday in Lehmann Hall at the Music Academy of the West.

For the program, Rutkowski and his colleagues will play Ludwig Beethoven’s Sonata in D Major, Opus 102, No. 5, Sergei Prokofiev’s Sonata in C Major, Opus 119 and Sergei Rachmaninoff’s Sonata in G Minor, Opus 19.

The Beethoven Sonata, from 1817, belongs to his final period of composition, when his struggle with his deafness and other adversities inspired a creative transcendence that has seldom, if ever, been equaled. The Sonata, thus, ranks on a level with the Late Quartets. Need I say more?

The Prokofiev was written in 1949 and premiered March 1, 1950, by Mstislav Rostropovich — for whom it was written — and Sviatoslav Richter. That’s what I’d call a head start. Considering Prokofiev’s severe physical debility and his revulsion at Joseph Stalin, whom he did not manage to outlive by as much as a day, the work is quite tuneful and optimistic — with an undertone of melancholy, of course. But what would you expect from a Russian?

Rachmaninoff wrote very few works for chamber ensembles, and all of them early. This Sonata, from 1901, is the last. Except for the Trio élégiaque No. 2, it is the only one played nowadays. It is gorgeous, pure Rachmaninov.

Tickets to the recital, available at the door, are $15 for general admission and $7 for students.

— 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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