Pixel Tracker

Tuesday, January 22 , 2019, 5:52 am | Fair 54º


Camerata Pacifica Looks Over the Pacific Rim

The December program includes works by Huang Ruo and Johannes Brahms.

Camerata Pacifica will play some or all of its December program at 1 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Friday in the Music Academy of the West‘s Hahn Hall. (I applaud honoring the generosity of the Hahns. I just hope the academy can devise a means of permanently memorializing conductor Maurice Abravanel, whose name used to decorate the building.)

Article Image
Composer Huang Ruo
The December program consists of Four Fragments by Huang Ruo, the Violin Sonata in D Major, Opus 94 by Sergei Prokofiev, Capriccio, Opus 49 by Heitor Villa-Lobos and the Piano Quartet in C Minor, Opus 60 by Johannes Brahms. At the 1 p.m., or “lunchtime” concert, only the Ruo and the Brahms features will be performed. The participating Camerata musicians will include Catherine Leonard on violin, Richard O’Neill on viola, Ani Aznavoorian on cello and Anna Polonsky on piano.

Chinese composer Huang was born on Hainan Island in 1976, the year the nightmarish Cultural Revolution came to an end. His father is a notable composer, and probably had been exiled by the Red Guards to Hainan Island, hence Huang’s birth in the provinces rather than in some cultural center such as Shanghai.

His father, in any case, started teaching him composition and piano when he was 6 years old, and then sent him to the Shanghai Conservatory of Music, where he was admitted when he was 12.

Huang has been a busy composer. His Web site lists 132 works. Four Fragments was written in 2006 — written twice, in fact, since his catalog lists two compositions of that name, both from 2006, both lasting 12 minutes. One is for solo violin; one is for solo cello. I don’t know which the Camerata will perform, maybe a mix of the two.

Brahms wrote three quartets for piano and strings. Possibly because Brahms was a brilliant pianist (when he was 16, he supported himself playing piano in a bordello), the three piano quartets are much more memorable than his three string quartets. No. 1 in G Minor, Opus 25 is the most frequently played. It is also the most famous, on account of Schönberg’s popular transcription of it for full orchestra (Schönberg claimed that the quartet had been originally composed as Brahms’ first symphony, and that his transcription was more of a restoration).

Either way, I much prefer No. 3 in C Minor, Opus 60, which is the one the Camerata will be performing. It is full of beautiful melodies, drama, exciting rhythms and heart-on-sleeve pathos. What’s not to like?

Tickets to the Camerata concerts are available from Hahn Hall box office, just before the show, or from the Camerata at 805.884.8410, 800.557.BACH or www.cameratapacifica.org.

Gerald Carpenter covers the arts as a Noozhawk contributor.

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.