Monday, July 16 , 2018, 6:36 am | Partly Cloudy 65º

 
 
 
 

Listen Up! Free Concerts On Marquee For Saturday

Performances at the Faulkner Gallery, UCSB are sure to be pleasing to the ear.

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Two free concerts are planned for Saturday with gifted performers and programs that are generous, lovely and intriguing.

The first, at 3 p.m., is the Santa Barbara Music Club‘s "Matinee Concert" in the Faulkner Gallery of the Santa Barbara Public Library, 40 E. Anapamu St. The program includes the "Theme and Variations for Flute and Strings, Opus 80" by Amy Beach, played by flautist Mary Jo Hartle and String Quartet; "Early Songs" by Samuel Barber, performed by soprano Joyce McWilliams and pianist Karen Corbett; and selected "Ballades" and "Scherzos" by Frederick Chopin, played by pianist Zeynep Ucbasaran. Any concert by her is a treat.

When Amy Marcy Cheney (1867-1944) was 13, her piano teacher took her to visit Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Cheney’s playing charmed the poet and Harvard professor.

"She certainly has a wonderful gift," he wrote to her teacher, "and shows promise of great excellence. Indeed, one knows not what heights she may reach in her profession."

Cheney rose rather high indeed, becoming the first great American composer of her gender. After she married prominent Boston physician Dr. H.H.A. Beach, he insisted that she appear and publish as Mrs. H.H.A. Beach, so you will find her recordings under the Bs, not the Cs.

As a composer, Beach was closely associated with what is sometimes known as the Second New England School that included John Knowles Paine, George Whitfield Chadwick, Horatio Parker and especially Arthur Foote, with whose works Beach’s are often paired on recordings. Beach and Foote were both friends with Elias Hecht, the flautist of the San Francisco Chamber Music Society. Each wrote a major work for flute and strings for him that he then premiered: Foote the gorgeous and celebrated "Night Piece," and Beach the equally gorgeous, though less well-known, "Theme and Variations."

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At 6 p.m., in Karl Geiringer Hall on the UCSB campus, soprano Kristin Williams will present her graduate recital, with John Ballerino on piano. The program is made up of songs and arias by Franz Schubert ("Suleika"), Franz Liszt ("Im Rhein Im Schönen Strome" and "Die Lorelei"), Anton Dvorak (five songs from "Opus 55"), Wolfgang Mozart ("Voi, Che Sapete" from "Le Nozze di Figaro"), Charles Ives ("Songs My Mother Taught Me," "Two Little Flowers," "Memories," "The Greatest Man," "The Housatonic at Stockbridge" and "My Native Land"), and Manuel De Falla ("Seven Popular Spanish Songs").

"Voi, Che Sapete" is the aria sung by Cherubino, the callow young page-boy (sung by a soprano) who is madly in love with Countess d’Almaviva. The aria captures perfectly all the hopelessness and frustration – and the irresistible power – of adolescent love. There is nothing like it anywhere, ever, and it will sweeten your ears against any amount of Yankee irascibility (though this recital is likely to find Ives in a folksy, mellow mood).

For more information about events at the UCSB Music Department, click here or call its concert information line at 893-7001.

For more information about the Santa Barbara Music Club, click here or call 683-0811.

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