Pixel Tracker

Friday, January 18 , 2019, 4:40 pm | Fair 62º


For SBCO Chamber Players, the Show Will Go On

The second and final concert of the season will lead with Bach and finish with Schubert

In a move that many will find admirable, the SBCO Chamber Players have decided to go ahead with their second and final concert of the 2008-09 season. It will happen, as scheduled, at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday in the Fleischmann Auditorium of the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History.

It would be a shame, in any case, to deny audiences the all too rare opportunity to hear Maestro Heiichiro Ohyama play the instrument that was his first love: the viola.

The program will contain two works: Johann Sebastian Bach’s Suite No. 3 in C Major for Unaccompanied Cello, BWV 1009, performed by the chamber orchestra’s Trevor Handy; and the Octet in F Major for Strings and Winds, Opus 166, D. 803, of Franz Schubert, played by Amy Hershberger and Elizabeth Hedman on violins, Ohyama on viola, Jacqueline Greenshields on cello, David Young on bass, Michael Grego on clarinet, Judith Farmer on bassoon and Jenny Kim on horn.

Those familiar with some of my prejudices might expect me to protest against yet another performance of a Bach work in a severely restricted season when there is so much music we need to hear played by these great artists. To the contrary: One of Bach’s works for solo stringed instrument makes exactly the right amount of his instrumental music to hear at any one time. It is when we are called on to pay strict attention to a whole set of similar — and, to all but the most highly trained ear, indistinguishable — Bach compositions that I protest on behalf of the beleaguered music lovers. The six Suites for Unaccompanied Cello are masterpieces of the very highest order, and any one of them is a fit object for our deepest attention.

Incredible as it seems to us now, Beethoven’s early Septet in E-flat Major for Piano and Winds, Opus 20, was far and away his greatest hit for years and years. The composer got so tired of hearing the hysterical praise heaped on the work that he complained to Joseph Haydn that he wished he’d never written it. “Well,” Haydn replied, “you can always tell people that I wrote it.” That kept him quiet for a while.

Though composed when Schubert was 2 years old, Beethoven’s Septet remained the gold standard for decades and, in 1824, when Count Ferdinand Troyer commissioned Schubert to write an octet, it was the Septet that he used as a model.

Schubert’s Octet surpasses its model in just about every way except ubiquitousness. It is lyrical rather than dramatic, and full of dreamy melodies and cheerful dance tunes. I think that, probably, the reason we don’t get to hear it played live very often is that very few name-brand ensembles travel with exactly the right combination of players.

Tickets to Tuesday’s concert are $32 and are available through the chamber orchestra office at 805.966.2441 or at the door.

— 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 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.