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Gerald Carpenter: UCSB ‘Spotlight’ Falls on French, Croatian and English Composers

UCSB's sensational new "Spotlight" concert series gives new depth and breadth to the term "eclectic." The next installment will take place at 4 p.m. Wednesday in Lotte Lehmann Concert Hall in the UCSB Music Building.

Peter Racine Fricker
Internationally admired composer Peter Racine Fricker lived and taught in Santa Barbara for many years.

Jeremy Haladyna will host the event, as well as making a major contribution as performer. Admission is free.

The concert will begin with the Sonata for Trombone and Piano, "Vox Gabrieli" by Stjepan Sulek (1914-86), with Elizabeth Cowder on trombone and Natasha Kislenko on piano; followed by the Agincourt Hymn of John Dunstaple (c. 1390-1453) plus the "Pauana de Alexandre" and "Gallarda" from the Tres libros de música of Alonso Mudarra (c. 1510-80), performed by organist Haladyna, after which he will reseat himself at the piano to play the "Pastorale" and "Passacaglia" from Diversions, Opus 95 by Peter Racine Fricker (1920-90).

The afternoon's music will conclude with a performance of the second and third movements — "Andante" and "Allegro non troppo" — from the Trio for Flute, Viola and Cello, Opus 40 of Albert Roussel (1869-1937), with Adriane Hill on flute, Jordan Warmath on viola and Zachary McGee on cello.

Sulek was a Croatian composer, conductor, violinist and music teacher. He was born in Zagreb on the day after England declared war on the Central Powers, making World War I unanimous, and he died in Zagreb 72 years later, having lived a productive and apparently tranquil life through some of the most turbulent times in his country's history. The intriguing and virtuostic Sonata is perhaps the work of his best known outside his native land.

The English-born Fricker is well-known to our community, having been a professor of composition at UCSB from 1964 until his death in 1990, during which time he served several years as chairman of the Music Department. The selections from his Diversions are intended as a preview of the Ensemble for Contemporary Music concert that will occur within the campus-wide "Primavera" festival next week.

Roussel was a great French composer, and the only first-class symphonist that nation produced after Saint-Saëns. The trio is light and informal and very easy to listen to.

— 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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