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Music Club Concert Features Two Pianos, 60 Fingers

The Santa Barbara Music Club will present another of its lovely free concerts at 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 2, at First United Methodist Church, 305 E. Anapamu St. The afternoon's entertainment will be devoted to the literature for two pianos.

First, pianists Davis Reinhart and Christopher Davis play Wolfgang Mozart's "Sonata for Two Pianos in D-Major, K. 448 (1781);" then Bradley Gregory and Tachell Gerbert will give the Santa Barbara premiere of Emma Lou Diemer’s "Norteamexispanicumsake (1995)."

The concert will conclude with Betty Oberacker and Eric Valinsky performing Johannes Brahms' "Sonata for Two Pianos in f-minor, Opus 34b (1863)."

As exegetical remarks of any Mozart composition are totally redundant, I will offer none.

As for Diemer's "Sonata," the Music Club offers the following: "Written in 1995 for the two pianists, Emma Lou Diemer’s 'Norteamexispanicumsake' is a celebratory work.

"According to the composer, it is 'a slightly shorter version of a work written for the Santa Barbara Symphony early in 1995 and titled 'Santa Barbara Overture.'

"The two-piano version retains most of the ideas found in the overture and it is in the same jovial mood.

"As the title suggests, there are many elements at work in the music, everything from musical puns on Spanish and Mexican music, suggestions of ragtime filtered through a honky-tonk piano, pentatonic scale figures vaguely reminiscent of Asian music, and much more."

Brahms originally wrote "Opus 34" as a piano quintet, then converted it to this "Sonata," which was published as "Opus 34b," the composer allegedly destroying the score of the quintet.

A year later, Brahms rewrote the sonata as a piano quintet, which was published as "Piano Quintet in f-minor, Opus 34 (1864)."

If the score of the original piano quintet should ever turn up, it would be fascinating to compare it to that of the later work.

— 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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