Pixel Tracker

Saturday, February 16 , 2019, 11:48 am | A Few Clouds 58º


Camerata and Jones Create Magic

Contemporary composers compete with Mozart, but music fans are big winners.

Camerata Pacifica presented a concert of chamber music at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History on Friday evening that benefitted from an impeccable foundation laid by pianist Warren Jones.

The musicians played a program of music by two contemporary composers and two works by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. It’s tempting to say that Mozart won, but that would be unfair to John Harbison and Ian Wilson, composers of the modern works.

Jones and violinist Catherine Leonard were joined by Songa Lee on violin, Richard O’Neill on viola and Ani Aznavoorian on cella, in Harbison’s Piano Quintet. This work in five movements has been around for quite a few years, but is not played all that often. While complex, it also adheres to what might be called “modernist” stylistic conventions.

The world premiere of the Wilson piece, "Heft for Flute and Piano," featured Adrian Spence playing both concert and alto flutes, accompanied by Jones at the piano. Spence asked Wilson to compose a work for flute that would be “weighty” and Wilson produced this single-movement piece, which he said in the program notes was influenced by his concurrent reading of Lawrence Durrell’s “Alexandria Quartet.” Wilson was present for the premiere and Spence brought him to the stage to share in the applause at the end of the piece.

After the Harbison, Warren Jones concluded the first half of the program with Mozart’s Adagio in B Minor, K. 540. When Jones  plays a solo of this magnitude, one remembers that this artist is not only one of the finest collaborative pianists around, but that he is a soloist of great gifts. There is something unearthly about Jones’ rapport with his instrument, and it was evident in his  playing here. He not only was one with the piano, but he seemed one with Mozart himself.

The evening closed with Mozart’s Trio for Piano and Strings in G Major, K. 564, played by Jones, violinist Leonard and cellist Aznavoorian. Written toward the end of the composer’s life, it hardly reflects his problems at the time, of growing debt, the death of his father and the strain of writing “Don Giovanni.” Somehow, the sunny spirit of his genius shines through.

Talk to Us!

Please take Noozhawk's audience survey to help us understand what you expect — and want — from us. It'll take you just a few minutes. Thank you!

Get Started >

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.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >