Monday, July 16 , 2018, 12:25 am | Fair 66º

 
 
 
 

Margo Kline: Camerata Pacifica Opens Season at Hahn Hall

Percussionist Ji Hye Jung puts on display of versatility in dual performances

Camerata Pacifica played at Hahn Hall in Montecito on Friday, with a program of multinational, multigenerational tidbits bound to whet listeners’ appetites for more as the season progresses.

The program was played twice, in a somewhat abbreviated form at lunchtime and in a complete performance in the evening. The handsome Hahn Hall is the most recent addition to the Music Academy of the West, 1070 Fairway Road.

Four of the five selections featured the Korean-born percussionist Ji Hye Jung, playing the marimba in works by J.S. Bach, Joseph Schwantner, Osvaldo Golijov and Bright Sheng.

Jung was joined in Bach’s “Sonata in A Major, BWV 1032,” by flautist Adrian Spence, the artistic director of Camerata Pacifica. It should be noted that Bach originally wrote this piece for flute and harpsichord. No matter; it worked fine with the marimba.

The lunchtime performance began with Sheng’s “Hot Pepper” for violin and marimba, with violinist Catherine Leonard joining Jung. This lively work was commissioned for Camerata by Bob Peirce as a birthday present for his wife, Sharon Haroun Peirce.

Next, the seemingly indefatigable Jung and cellist Ani Aznavoorian played the melodic “Mariel” by Golijov, an Argentine composer. Born in 1960, Golijov has gained a devoted following among classical performers. He wrote “Mariel” in memory of his friend, Mariel Stubrin, who died unexpectedly. Aznavoorian is young, but she summons forth all the depth and melancholy her instrument commands.

The final marimba work was a solo for the instrument, “Velocities (Moto Perpetuo)” by Schwantner, a Pulitzer Prize-winning composer. Schwantner, who is a classical guitarist, was quoted in the program notes as liking the “sharp articulation” of notes played on both guitar and percussion.

The program concluded with Antonín Dvořák’s “Trio for Piano, Violin and Cello in F minor, Op. 65,” featuring Leonard on violin, Aznavoorian on cello and the incomparable Warren Jones at the piano. The lunchtime audience heard only the first movement of this work, but the entire four-part concerto was scheduled for the later performances.

The three musicians were well-matched with Dvořák’s passionate composition. Unlike many great composers, Dvořák by all accounts was a happy man, and his music instills excitement and a zest for life, qualities brought out by these three master musicians.

The full program will be performed Tuesday evening at the Huntington Library in San Marino, and at 8 p.m. Thursday in Zipper Hall in Los Angeles.

Noozhawk arts contributor Margo Kline can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk or @NoozhawkNews.

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