Thursday, December 8 , 2016, 2:21 am | Mostly Cloudy 47º


Gerald Carpenter: CAMA to Open with Solo Recital by Pianist Lang Lang

The virtuoso will perform at 8 p.m. Wednesday in the Granada Theatre

The Community Arts Music Association will open its 2012-13 season with a solo recital by the phenomenal virtuoso pianist Lang Lang at 8 p.m. Wednesday in the Granada Theatre, 1214 State St. in Santa Barbara.

Lang Lang
Lang Lang

Lang Lang’s program, notwithstanding his well-deserved reputation for pyrotechnical display, sticks to the lyric and nuanced potentials of his instrument and — not counting whatever encores he chooses to bless us with — will consist of three sonatas by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (No. 5 in G-Major, K. 283, No. 4 in Eb-Major, K. 282, No. 8 in A-Minor, K. 310), and all four Ballades by Frédéric Chopin (No. 1 in G-Minor, Opus 23, No. 2 in F-Major, Opus 38, No. 3 in Ab-Major, Opus 47 and No. 4 in F-Minor, Opus 52).

By all accounts, Mozart could perform with uncanny brilliance on any instrument with a keyboard or strings, although he had, throughout his tragically short life, a special affinity for the piano. His concertos, of course, took up the baroque form, which even Joseph Haydn had been unwilling to expand, and developed it to the point where, at his death, it required nothing to become the perfect vehicle for the romantic virtuoso.

His solo piano music, including the 18 sonatas, is not quite so Promethean. If he had chosen to concentrate his gifts on a career of solo recitals, he would no doubt have produced works that breathed fire with the best of them, but, what with his operas, symphonies, chamber works and concerti — with a mass or two to keep the Man Upstairs sweet — he reserved only his most delicate insights and exquisite pleasures for the solo keyboard.

It was for Ludwig van Beethoven and Franz Liszt to turn the solo piano into an instrument suitable for Faustian expansion and will.

Chopin took a different tack, more in tune with Mozart’s nuanced introspection. For one thing, he was never particularly robust, and the epic or demonic were equally alien to his sensitive, modest soul. Nobody was more romantic, though, and he was steeped in the romantic poetry of his Polish homeland. It was to produce musical equivalents of poetic forms that he invented the ballade. A ballad is not a dance; it is a form of verse; and no composer has ever surpassed — certainly not in a solo piano score — the perfect fusion of poetic and musical feeling that Chopin achieved in his four ballades. There is nothing like them anywhere.

Single tickets to Lang Lang’s recital are $38 to $103 and are available through the Granada box office at 805.899.2222 or by clicking here.

— Gerald Carpenter covers the arts as a Noozhawk contributor. He can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk or @NoozhawkNews.

Reader Comments

Noozhawk's intent is not to limit the discussion of our stories but to elevate it. Comments should be relevant and must be free of profanity and abusive language and attacks.

By posting on Noozhawk, you:

» Agree to be respectful. Noozhawk encourages intelligent and impassioned discussion and debate, but now has a zero-tolerance policy for those who cannot express their opinions in a civil manner.

» Agree not to use Noozhawk’s forums for personal attacks. This includes any sort of personal attack — including, but not limited to, the people in our stories, the journalists who create these stories, fellow readers who comment on our stories, or anyone else in our community.

» Agree not to post on Noozhawk any comments that can be construed as libelous, defamatory, obscene, profane, vulgar, harmful, threatening, tortious, harassing, abusive, hateful, sexist, racially or ethnically objectionable, or that are invasive of another’s privacy.

» Agree not to post in a manner than emulates, purports or pretends to be someone else. Under no circumstances are readers posting to Noozhawk to knowingly use the name or identity of another person, whether that is another reader on this site, a public figure, celebrity, elected official or fictitious character. This also means readers will not knowingly give out any personal information of other members of these forums.

» Agree not to solicit others. You agree you will not use Noozhawk’s forums to solicit and/or advertise for personal blogs and websites, without Noozhawk’s express written approval.

Noozhawk’s management and editors, in our sole discretion, retain the right to remove individual posts or to revoke the access privileges of anyone who we believe has violated any of these terms or any other term of this agreement; however, we are under no obligation to do so.

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 PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.

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 >