Tuesday, June 19 , 2018, 11:23 pm | Fair 62º


British Invasion Evokes Historic Lobero Concert

A CAMA performance by Thomas Adès and Anthony Marwood reprises an Igor Stravinsky and Samuel Dushkin concert from 1937.

A historic concert at the Lobero Theatre on Friday night was galvanized by two dazzling British music luminaries, pianist-composer Thomas Adès and violinist Anthony Marwood.

Presented by the Community Arts and Music Association, the all-Stravinsky program paid homage to a concert performed at the Lobero 71 years ago, when Igor Stravinsky and violinist Samuel Dushkin dazzled the Santa Barbara audience of the time. As the Lobero geared up for the commemoration of that 1937 event, Adès and Marwood were perfecting their Stravinsky repertoire for piano and violin.

The two young artists are multitalented and must have cornered the market on high energy. Each has a resume of epic proportions. Adès is perhaps the better known of the two, at least in this country. He is a composer of numerous works as well as being a masterful pianist. He has created well-received operas, Powder Her Face and The Tempest, which have been performed by companies around the globe. His other works include a violin concerto, “Concentric Circles,” and an orchestral piece, “The Tempest,” for the conductor, Sir Simon Rattle.

Then there is Marwood, a prodigiously gifted violinist whose stage presence fairly crackles. He plays a 1736 instrument by Carlo Bergonzi, purchased by a syndicate of buyers — so valuable it took a communal effort to buy it.

Space considerations prohibit listing all of Marwood’s accomplishments. Some recent ones include his selection as the Royal Philharmonic Society‘s Instrumentalist of the Year in 2006, a tour of Germany as soloist-director with the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, concertos at the Barbican andf the Edinburgh Festival, and solos with the London Philharmonic and the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra.

Marwood’s upcoming engagements include, among many, the Mariinsky Orchestra under Valery Gergiev, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Baltimore Symphony, Scottish Chamber Festival and the Warsaw Philharmonic. He will have two U.S. tours with the Irish Chamber Orchestra, of which he is the director.

The program Friday night showed the soloists’ bravura technique and style to fine advantage. Stravinsky created these works in Paris before deciding, in 1931, to take his modernist act on the road with Dushkin, with Santa Barbara as one of the stops.

The opening work was “Suite, After Themes, Fragments and Pieces by Giambatista Pergolesi,” a somewhat dissonant work with overtones of the 18th century original. It was followed by “Pastorale,” two sections from “Song of the Nightingale” and “Duo Concertant,” Stravinsky’s well-known piece for piano and violin. Here, the composer gave the long line to the violin and Marwood, of course, took it and ran with it.

After intermission, the duo played selections from The Firebird, a gorgeous “Chanson Russe,” a “Divertimento after the Fairy’s Kiss” and the “Dance Russe” from Petroushka. Marwood, in these works, played with such speed and intensity that his bow glittered as if on fire.

After such a dazzling program, a standing ovation brought Adès and Marwood back for an encore, a Stravinsky tango. The great Russian composer had met a pair of splendid interpreters, and the audience was the winner.

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