Pixel Tracker

Tuesday, February 19 , 2019, 10:03 pm | Fair 46º

 
 
 
 

Gerald Carpenter: Academy Chamber Orchestra to Throw 18th-Century Party

Saturday's concert — its last of the season — will feature works by Bach, Handel and Beethoven

The marvelous Music Academy of the West Chamber Orchestra will offer its second and final concert of the season at 8 p.m. Saturday in the lofty, sonorous confines of First Presbyterian Church, at State and Constance streets.

The ebullient baroque specialist Nicholas McGegan will conduct works by Johann Sebastian Bach (Brandenburg Concerto No. 1 in F Major, BWV 1046), George Frideric Handel (Music for the Royal Fireworks, HWV 351) and Ludwig van Beethoven (Symphony No. 8 in F Major, Opus 93).

As a definition of the character of a piece of music, the term “baroque” is fairly slippery. My OED says the word is “of uncertain origin,” but that its variants throughout the romance languages all mean a “rough and imperfect pearl.” To historians of the Early Modern Period — including yours truly — “baroque” refers mainly to the aesthetic wing, sponsored or not, of the Roman Catholic “Counter-Reformation.” Its political resonance is, thus, mainly reactionary.

So far, we would have to exclude Bach and Handel, on the grounds that they were both Protestants, and Beethoven, on account of his revolutionary fellow-traveling. With respect to composers, the safest way to go is to file all music written in England and Europe from 1590 to 1750 under “baroque” and let it go at that.

The style, if we can call it that, was born in Italy and was perfected in the course of the 17th century by Claudio Monteverdi, Arcangelo Corelli, Henry Purcell and Heinrich Schütz.

Bach played and studied every score he could lay his hands on by Antonio Vivaldi and Tomaso Albinoni, and transcribed/arranged their concertos often. Handel spent his formative years in Italy, and remained, for all practical purposes, an Italian composer all his life — though, I admit, you can hear a bit of French pomposity in the Music for the Royal Fireworks.

But was Beethoven a “baroque” composer? He has his moments, certainly — such as in the Overture to the Consecration of the House, when he seems to be channeling Handel. The Symphony No. 8, however, I would, if pressed, call “neo-classical.” He is looking back, to be sure, but only as far as Haydn and Mozart, and he seems equally intent on prefiguring the symphonies of Felix Mendelssohn. In any case, however we label it, the work is one of his most lighthearted.

Tickets are $40. To purchase tickets or for more information about the Music Academy, click here or call 805.969.8787.

— Gerald Carpenter covers the arts as a Noozhawk contributor. He can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Talk to Us!

Please take Noozhawk's audience survey to help us understand what you expect — and want — from us. It'll take you just a few minutes. Thank you!

Get Started >

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
Email
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.