Saturday, January 20 , 2018, 5:51 am | Fair 49º


Gerald Carpenter: UCSB ‘Spotlight Concert’ to Illuminate Young Performers

Krzysztof Penderecki
Krzysztof Penderecki's skill as a conductor complements his brilliance as a composer.

The UCSB Music Department's series of free "Spotlight Concerts" continues with a recital at 4 p.m. Wednesday in Lotte Lehmann Hall. Once again, Jeremy Haladyna will host.

We will hear the Havanaise in E-Major for Violin and Orchestra, Opus 83 (1887) by Camille Saint-Saëns (1835-1921), played by Camden Boyle on violin and Dr. Natasha Kislenko on piano; the "Prelude," "Bourrée" and "Gigue" from the Suite No. 3 in C-Major for Cello Solo, BWV 1009 of Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) by Gregory Rathje on viola; the Cadenza for solo viola (1984) by Krzysztof Penderecki (born in 1933) by Carson Rick on viola; and the "Adagio mesto" and "Allegro con brio" from the Trio in Eb-Major for Horn, Violin, and Piano, Opus 40 (1865) by Johannes Brahms (1833-1897) by Eric Morin on horn, Tom Yaron on violin and Mark Gutierrez on piano.

There seems to be a revived interest in the music of Saint-Saëns, I am delighted to note. I hesitate to mention it, lest it prove a chimera born of coincidence and wishful thinking, but if there's anything I can do to keep it going ... . The acknowledgment, anyway, by the musical establishment, that Saint-Saëns belongs in the first rank of composers of his time has been slow in coming and mostly grudging.

He lived a long time and was not, it seems, an easy person to like. He was a brilliant writer as well as composer, and his piercing intellect did not deal gently with his contemporaries — in his case, virtually every European musician of the 19th century and early 20th. But his music lives on because, unlike its composer, it is uncomplicated and beautiful.

Three movements is an ideal dose of Bach. We can appreciate the greatness of it without being overwhelmed and exhausted.

The Penderecki is remarkably accessible, for him. I guess there is a limit to the hot water he can get a single instrument into. Also, it is one of his secular works, and so there are no theological questions that need grappling.

The Brahms is, quite simply, the greatest work extent for this combination of instruments. It is a relatively early work, written — I won't say at the height of his powers, since he spent his entire career on that pinnacle — when his sense of form was not yet in the driver's seat of his lyrical impulses. That is to say it is an expansive, melodic work of haunting beauty.

— Gerald Carpenter covers the arts as a Noozhawk contributing writer. He can be reached at [email protected]. The opinions expressed are his own.

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click here to get started >

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]com. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >