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Gerald Carpenter: Music Club Offers Chamber of Delights at Library

The Santa Barbara Music Club presents the next in its marvelous series of free concerts at 3 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 24, in the club's familiar venue of the Faulkner Gallery of the Santa Barbara Public Library, 40 E. Anapamu St.

Jane Hahn, flute, and Christopher Davis, piano, will open the concert with the "Andante" from Johann Sebastian Bach’s "Flute Sonata in b-minor, BWV 1030 (1735)" and Georges Enesco’s "Cantabile y Presto for Flute and Piano (1904)."

Then, oboist Adelle Rodkey and pianist Eric Valinsky play Maurice Ravel’s "Sonatine (1903-05)" (transcribed by David Walter).

They are followed by soprano Carolyn Kim Holmquist and pianist Reneé Hamaty with "Tribute to Leonard Bernstein (1918-90), consisting of "I Hate Music!: A Cycle of Five Kid Songs (1943)," "What a Movie!" from Trouble in Tahiti (1951),  and "I Am Easily Assimilated," from Candide (1956).

The concert concludes with clarinetist Chad Cullins and pianist Christopher Davis performing Camille Saint-Saëns’ "Clarinet-Piano Sonata in Eb-Major, Opus 167 (1921)."

None of these pieces presents the least obstacle to our appreciation. Even the burdensome responsibility of understanding words sung in our own language is miraculously lifted by the settings of Leonard Bernstein.

That is to say. the entire concert is, to employ a term from high-toned journalism, "accessible." And, as always, the presence of Bach on the program underwrites the seriousness and respectability of the endeavor.

I would only add that I have steadfastly championed the music of Camille Saint-Saëns (1835-1921), who gets virtually no respect from the academic music establishment, and I am delighted at his persistence, nearly a hundred years after his death, on our concert programs, great and small.

The three wind-piano sonatas that he wrote in the last year of his life are exquisite gems, light and sparkling as mountain streams. Wind players, I am sure, are eternally grateful.

For information on this or other Santa Barbara Music Club programs and performing artists, visit

— 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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