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Gerald Carpenter: Music Club Looks Back at Recent Past

The Santa Barbara Music Club will start its 43rd season with a diverting piece by Sir Malcolm Arnold.
The Santa Barbara Music Club will start its 43rd season with a diverting piece by Sir Malcolm Arnold.

That indispensable local music resource, the Santa Barbara Music Club, will launch into its 43rd season with a concert — free, of course — at 3 p.m. Saturday in the Faulkner Gallery of the Santa Barbara Central Library, 40 E. Anapamu St. at Santa Barbara.

The program is an intriguing one. It will consist of music from last century, to wit: Malcolm Arnold’s Divertimento for Flute, Oboe, and Clarinet, Opus 37 performed by Mary Jo Hartle on flute, Adelle Rodkey on oboe and Per Elmfors on clarinet; Maurice Duruflé‘s Prélude, Récitatif et Variations for Flute, Viola, and Piano, Opus 3 (1928) played by Jacob Adams on viola, Erin McKibben on flute and Pascal Salomon on piano; and Sergei Prokofiev’s Sonata No. 1 in F-Minor for Violin and Piano, Opus 80 given to us by Nicole McKenzie, on violin and the majestic Betty Oberacker on piano.

Until fairly recently — except in the United Kingdom — Arnold, CBE (1921-2006), was mainly famous for his film scores (Breaking the Sound Barrier, The Bridge on the River Kwai, The Inn of the Sixth Happiness, etc.), but he produced very fine music in just about every genre: orchestral, chamber, solo and stage.

His style is modern without being hostile or kinky, romantic without being syrupy. He has a strong way with a melody. Now that the cost of orchestral concerts has gone through the roof, his chamber music is being “rediscovered,” and what a rewarding discovery it is! The Divertimento, from 1952, is jaunty and engaging.

Duruflé (1902-86) was an austere self-critic and published few works in his long life. He is best-known for his organ and choral music, especially his 1947 Requiem, Opus 9. The Prélude, Récitatif et Variations, just about his only chamber composition, is a completely unexpected delight — more akin to Francis Poulenc than to his idol, Johann Sebastian Bach.

— 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.

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