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Gerald Carpenter: Dudamel Conducts Schubert, Mahler at Granada

Since the Community Arts-Music Association (CAMA) was founded for the express purpose of bringing the Los Angeles Philharmonic to Santa Barbara for a concert, it is not surprising every CAMA season includes at least one, and sometimes two, concerts by that orchestra, usually, as this year, the last one.

The LA Phil, under conductor Gustavo Dudamel, will play this year's concert at 4 p.m. Sunday, May 7, in the Granada Theatre, 1214 State St. Mezzo-soprano Michelle DeYoung will be the guest soloist.

The charming, slightly eccentric, program consists of Franz Schubert's Symphony No.1 in D-Major, D.82 (1813); Gustav Mahler's Lieder eines Fahrenden Gesellen/Songs of a Wayfarer (1885); and Schubert's Symphony No.2 in B♭-Major, D.125 (1815).

Among many other considerations, we note that these are all three the works of youth. Schubert was still in his teens when he wrote the symphonies, and Mahler was only 25 when he published the songs. Yet each had already found his unique voice.

It is easy to patronize Schubert for his (alleged) technical naïvité. I leave it to scholars to point out the flaws in his musical  logic.

I'd be willing to bet, however, that there were at least a dozen composers among his contemporaries who would have been delirious to sign their names to these symphonies. Most would have gone their whole lives without producing anything so fresh, joyful, and downright pleasing.

Das Klagende Lied, which Mahler began in his teens and finished when he was 20, has a fair claim to being considered Mahler's first major work. With its uncanny anticipation of the "Resurrection" Symphony, the cantata is proof positive that Mahler was Mahler from the beginning.

The four Wayfarer songs, published five years later, are nevertheless where we all tend to start the Mahler clock. They are as beautiful and heartbreaking as any songs he ever wrote, and the last one, Die zwei blauen Augen von meinem Schatz, is my personal favorite of all his lieder.

Single tickets to this concert start at $39 and go up to $119, with special rates for seniors, students and groups. Discounted student tickets are available for $10 with valid student ID. Single tickets are available from the Granada Box Office, 1214 State St., by phone at 899-2222 or online at www.granadasb.org.

— 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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