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Sunday, February 17 , 2019, 2:08 am | Fair 48º


Gerald Carpenter: Camerata Pacifica Boldly Goes to Well of Recent Past

Camerata Pacifica plays its March program in Santa Barbara at 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 9, in Hahn Hall, on the Music Academy of the West campus.

Cameratans Jose Franch-Ballester (clarinet), Martin Owen (horn), Kristin Lee (violin), Jason Uyeyama (violin), Richard O’Neill (viola), Ani Aznavoorian (cello), and Molly Morkoski (piano), will perform the following:

Krzysztof Penderecki's "Sextet for Clarinet, Horn, String Trio and Piano (2000)," Kaija Saariaho's "Petals for Solo Cello & Electronics (1988)," Somei Satoh's "Birds in Warped Time II (1980)," and David Bruce's "Gumboots for Clarinet and String Quartet (2008)."

This is a remarkable program in every sense, not least for the way it is likely to elicit remarks.

Yet, provocative though they may be, each in its own way, none of the four pieces to be played falls into the category of "music that is more fun to discuss than to hear."

All provide valid and memorable musical experiences. Each manages to be wildly different, without being off-putting.

Penderecki does his usual feat of placing us in a space that is motionless and expanding at the same time (probably a knack he developed while writing liturgical music).

After hearing Saariaho's "Petals," this YouTube comment by the "Mad Musicologist" struck me as especially apt (though he seems to be missing a participle):

"There might be quite a lot [done?] with reverb, transposition (pitch shift) with feedback, ring modulation, and filtering in the effects line. But it is true mastership to use those effects to create new vast spaces around the solo instrument."

Satoh's work, the oldest on the program, seems the newest, almost as if it were still being written, while "Gumboots," the newest work, draws deep and far upon a primal folk past, then brings us up to date, step by step, arriving at what feels like a state of hope. It is well-placed on the program.

Single tickets to this concert are $56, and may be purchased in person at the box office, by phone at 884-8410, or online at http://cameratapacifica.org/season-tickets/order-tickets/.

— Gerald Carpenter covers the arts as a Noozhawk contributing writer. He can be reached at [email protected]. The opinions expressed are his own.

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