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Gerald Carpenter: Music Club Plays Trios by Khachaturian, Brahms

The Santa Barbara Music Club will present a free concert at 3 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 20, in the Faulkner Gallery of the Santa Barbara Public Library, 40 E. Anapamu St. The program is in two parts, the first about half as long as the second.

To begin, clarinetist Per Elmfors, violinist Kristi Holstein,and pianist Robert Hale will play Aram Khachaturian’s "Trio in g-minor (1932)."

Next, violinist Marie Hébert, cellist Elizabeth Olson and pianist Robert Hale perform Johannes Brahms' "Trio No. 1 in B-Major, for Violin, Cello, and Piano, Opus 8 (1854)."

This concert was scheduled to take place Jan. 13 but was postponed because of the Thomas Fire and the subsequent flooding and mudslides, which had such tragic effects.

The program has undergone a sea change as well. The Khachaturian replaces works by Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741) and Mathieu Lussier (b. 1973), which have been reprogrammed for performance on Saturday, Jan. 27, at the same time, same venue.

Khachaturian (1903-78) wrote this trio while he was still a student of Nikolai Yakovlevich Myaskovsky (1881-1950) at the Moscow Conservatory.

Student work it may be, but the composer has clearly begun as he intends to go on, with passionate folk tunes and eccentric rhythmic structures.

The smallness of the ensemble lightens the tragic heaviness of many of Khachaturian's orchestral works, and the trio is overall quite charming.

I put this trio by Brahms (1833-97) among his greatest works in any genre.

It is the passionate outpouring of a young romantic who had not yet become a control freak, and it was this trio that led me to the chamber music of Brahms — hence to what I believe to be the truest expressions of his soul and genius.

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