Tuesday, November 21 , 2017, 11:38 pm | Fair 56º

 
 
 
 
Posted on October 18, 2017 | 9:00 a.m.

Gerald Carpenter: Camerata Uploads the Recent Past

Source: Gerald Carpenter, Noozhawk Contributing Writer | @noozhawknews

The reliably brilliant chamber music association, Camerata Pacifica, will play the Santa Barbara edition of its October concerts at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 20, in Hahn Hall on the Music Academy of the West's Miraflores campus.

Cameratans Svet Stoyanov, percussion; Bridget Kibbey, harp: Nicholas Daniel, oboe; and Ani Aznavoorian, cello, perform:

Carl Vine’s "Inner World" for Cello, Tape & Video Projection (1994); William Kraft’s Encounters V: "In the Morning of the Winter Sea" (1975); and John Cage’s "In a Landscape" for Marimba (1948).

Also, Osvaldo Golijov’s "Mariel" for Cello and Marimba (1999); Felix Mendelssohn’s "Songs Without Words," transcribed for oboe and harp; and David Bruce’s "The Consolation of Rain for Oboe, Harp, Cello and Percussion" (2016).

"The primary exploration of this program is beauty ...," says the Camerata, and I call this is a fair characterization, both of their criteria and of the music itself.

Mind you, if we were using for our standard of beauty the most conservative work on the program — the Mendelssohn — then some of the other works would gain only provisional acceptance, mainly on account of the intensely conservative strain of music lovers, who possess a permanent majority.

Bear in mind, however, this list represents an "exploration," rather than a fixed set of aesthetic judgments.

We are being invited to listen to these works in the spirit of discovery, with our automatic judgments suspended, with every expectation of hearing something that catches our attention, and if we manage to do so, we will find the program fairly brimming with beauty, of one kind or another.

The extraordinary piece by Vine, for example, begins rather deliberately, one austere phrase at a time. By some arcane process, each phrase looks to the next, and the music opens up like a flower.

Kraft's warmth and humanity shine forth in this piece, as in all his work. He keeps his ebullience on a short leash, and takes an exquisite, Prufrockian walk along the beach.

If you have heard much music by the late John Cage, "In a Landscape" will doubtless provide the biggest surprise of the evening. The Camerata says Cage admired Erik Satie, which makes sense, not as a musical influence, but as a fellow iconoclast.

I heard "In a Landscape," and found that Satie had a musical influence on Cage after all. It was written for the dancer Louise Lippold in 1948, and the structure of the piece follows the rhythmic patterns dance of the choreography for which it was composed.

The last three works are beautiful by any standard, particularly "The Consolation of Rain," which is one of a growing catalogue of major works commissioned by and for the Camerata Pacifica (they premiered it last year).

At no point does this program drag, but even if it did, the David Bruce is worth sticking around for.

Admission to this concert is $56. For tickets and other information, show up at the box office, call the Camerata Pacifica at 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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