Saturday, February 24 , 2018, 7:05 am | Fair 32º


Gerald Carpenter: Santa Barbara Music Club to Perform Saturday

Free concert will feature works by Bach, Debussy, Barber and Franck

The next free concert by the fine and generous musicians of the Santa Barbara Music Club will take place at 3 p.m. Saturday in the customary venue of the Faulkner Gallery of the Santa Barbara Central Library, 40 E. Anapamu St.

Pianist Kary Kramer will begin the program playing his own arrangement of the Prélude from Johann Sebastian Bach’s Suite No. 1 in G-Major for Unaccompanied Cello, BWV 1007 and then “Reflections in the Water” from Book I of Claude Debussy’s Images.

Soprano Ann Dwelley, backed by pianist Steven Hodson, will follow with a performance of the 10 brief Hermit Songs, Opus 29 by Samuel Barber.

The concert will conclude with the celebrated flautist and Camerata Pacifica founder Adrian Spence teaming up with the impressive pianist Adam Neiman to play the flute-piano transcription of César Franck’s Sonata in A-Major for Violin and Piano (1886).

If there is a Samuel Barber piece that isn’t worth hearing, and that many times, I have yet to come across it. His Hermit Songs were written in 1953 on a grant from the Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge Foundation. They were first performed Oct. 30, 1953 at the Library of Congress by soprano Leontyne Price and Barber. (My vinyl recording of the songs, with the same singer and pianist, is the B side of Barber’s Knoxville: Summer of 1915, sung by soprano Eleanor Steber, who commissioned and premiered it — quite a treasure, that disk.)

The Hermit Songs are based on a collection of anonymous poems — some nearly haikus — written by Irish monks and scholars from the 8th to the 13th centuries, in translations by W. H. Auden, Chester Kallman, Howard Mumford Jones, Kenneth Jackson and Sean O’Faolain. The poems are mostly light observations, with surprisingly modern insights.

For information about the Santa Barbara Music Club, click here or call 805.687.5537.

— Gerald Carpenter covers the arts as a Noozhawk contributing writer.

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