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Gerald Carpenter: Camerata Pacifica to Follow the Winds at Hahn Hall

Camerata Pacifica will pay its January concert at 7:30 p.m. Friday in Hahn Hall on the Music Academy of the West campus.

The Cameratans participating are Richard Berry, horn; Judith Farmer, bassoon; Gina Cuffari, bassoon; Bil Jackson, clarinet; James Austin Smith, oboe; Claire Brazeau, oboe; Martin Owen, horn; Jose Franch-Ballester, clarinet; and Adrian Spence, flute.

If you read this lineup with any care at all, it will come as no surprise that the concert amounts to a special meeting of the Woodwind Club, with a program consisting of Josef Mysliveček's Wind Octet No. 3 in Bb-Major (ca1770), Wolfgang Mozart's Serenade No. 12 for Winds in C-Minor, K. 388/384a (1782) and Serenade No. 11 for Winds in Eb-Major, K. 375 (1781–82), plus Charles-François Gounod's Symphony for Small Wind Orchestra, "Petite Symphonie" (1888).

As I resisted earlier the fierce temptation to make several plays on the various applications of the word "wind," so I now will resist the temptation — rife in my field — to pose as an instant expert on the life and work of Mysliveček (1737–81), of whom and whose work I have just heard for the first time.

The octet is very pleasant and may have had something to do with the two Mozart serenades, which were written in the year after Mysliveček's death. The Mozart pieces, not surprisingly, have greater emotional depth — that is, they touch us more deeply — but I'm always glad to make the acquaintance of an unfamiliar Czech composer.

The "Petite" in the Gounod's title is somewhat misleading. It is not the symphony that is small — four movements, about 24 minutes — but the wind orchestra that plays it. For that 24 minutes we are lost in Gounodville, that charming kingdom where nothing is real or serious and everything is lovely. He produced an extraordinary amount of music in his life, and if little of it is unforgettable, just about all of it is listenable.

Admission to this concert is $56. For tickets and other information, visit the Hahn Hall box office, call Camerata Pacifica at 805.884.8410 or email [email protected].

— 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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