Thursday, November 15 , 2018, 10:12 am | Fair 70º


Gerald Carpenter: CAMA Welcomes Dresden Orchestra to The Granada

The first concert in its International Series will be at 8 p.m. Tuesday

The Community Arts Music Association’s opening concert in its International Series at The Granada, 1214 State St. — at 8 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 26 — will feature a visit from the Sächsische Staatskapelle Dresden (Saxon State Orchestra Dresden), conducted by Daniel Harding, with the guest artistry of virtuoso pianist Rudolf Buchbinder.

The average age of the musicians in the Dresden orchestra is probably comparable to that of any other top-class symphony orchestra, so when we are told that this is one of the oldest orchestras in the world, we should not expect the stage to be filled with white-haired septuagenarians. What is meant by the claim is that this particular ensemble was brought into being by the decree of Prince Elector Moritz of Saxony in the year 1548.

“Staatskapelle” is generally translated as “court orchestra,” though the fact that “kapelle” originally meant “chapel” should give us some clue as to the band’s original duties. That the list of former music directors includes the incomparable Heinrich Schütz (1585-1672), whose secular compositions occupy a very small portion of his glorious works, is another clue as to preponderantly religious nature of the orchestra’s duties, at least to the end of the 17th century. Other music directors include Carl Maria von Weber and Richard Wagner, by which time the orchestra had clearly deserted the sacred for the profane.

The first two works on the Dresden program celebrate Robert Schumann’s centennial (1810-2010): the Overture to his “Manfred” Dramatic Poem with Music in Three Parts, Opus 115 (1852) and his Concerto in A-Minor for Piano and Orchestra, Opus 54. The last work — Ludwig van Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7 in A-Major, Opus 92 — like so much from the same pen, celebrates life, love and the human spirit.

Lord Byron’s poetic drama “Manfred” (1817) — whose noble hero rejects human company and lives in splendid isolation in the Alps, debating with angels and devils — is one of those literary works that takes their contemporaries by storm, inspiring any number of works of art, which, in turn, often remain famous when the original is a forgotten footnote. Maurice Maeterlinck’s Pellèas et Melissande is another, inspiring great scores by Claude Debussy, Sibelius Fauré and Arnold Schönberg before fading into misty oblivion.

Manfred himself is the quintessential Byronic hero, the model for countless romantic protagonists — the best-remembered now, probably, being Heathcliffe in Wuthering Heights and Edward Rochester in Jane Eyre, though the character of Steerforth, in David Copperfield, has quite a bit of Manfred in him. In addition to Schumann’s setting, Carl Reinecke and Peter Tchaikovsky also wrote memorable music inspired by Byron’s poem. (I consider Tchaikovsky’s Manfred Symphony his greatest nonballet orchestral work — though it would make a great ballet.)

Moved by Manfred’s anti-human arrogance, Friedrich Nietzsche attempted to write music based on the poem. Schumann’s Overture is one of his most impressive and exciting scores.

Tickets to this concert are available from The Granada box office at 1214 State St. or 805.899.2222. Click here to order online.

— 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. Become a fan of Noozhawk on Facebook.

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.