Camerata Pacifica will play the Santa Barbara concert of their November program of their second Why Beethoven? season, 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 15, in Hahn Hall, at the Music Academy of the West, 1070 Fairway Road.
The same program will be played at 3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 10, in the Museum of Ventura County, 100 E. Main St.; 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 12, in Rothenberg Hall of The Huntington Museum in San Marino, 1151 Oxford Road; and 8 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 14, in Zipper Hall of The Colburn School in Los Angeles, 200 S Grand Ave.
The program will consist of Wolfgang Mozart‘s “Duo for Violin & Viola in G-Major, K. 423” (1783); Ludwig Beethoven‘s “String Quartet No. 10 in Eb-Major, Opus 74, ‘Harp’ ” (1810); and Louis Vierne‘s “Piano Quintet in c-minor, Opus 42” (1917-18), performed by Kristin Lee and Jason Uyeyama, violins; Richard O’Neill, viola; Ani Aznavoorian, cello; and Warren Jones, piano.
The Mozart “Duo” is an exquisite gem—or, rather, a necklace of three perfect gems, strung together almost carelessly but with an overall glow of immortality. Like everything Mozart wrote, it is profound, if you want it to be, but if you want to just listen and smile, well, that works even better.
The Beethoven Opus 74 is a stand-alone quartet, not part of a set or a sequence. It partakes, somewhat, of the sweep and elegance of its compositional contemporaries, the “Pastoral Symphony” (dedicated, like this quartet, to Prince Lobkowitz) and the “Piano Concerto No. 4.” Like them, it is nimble and far-seeing, yet has a grace all its own.
Louis Victor Jules Vierne (1870-1937) is listed usually as “a French organist and composer” and while works for the organ do dominate his oeuvre, you will be missing a good deal if you pay no attention to the considerable amount of music not composed for that instrument.
Educated mainly in the provinces, after he came to Paris, he studied for a time with César Franck. In 1892, he became the assistant to the organist Charles-Marie Widor in the church of Saint-Sulpice, from which post he graduated, in 1900, to the exalted position of principal organist at the cathedral of Notre-Dame de Paris, and remained in that position for the last 37 years of his life.
He was also a noted teacher, and while his works are not well-known enough for us to detect their impact on the composers who came after him, his immense influence on American music may be deduced from the fact that two of his star pupils were Lili and Nadia Boulanger. The “Piano Quintet,” one of those “other compositions” improves in every way upon the clumsy but unaccountably famous effort by his mentor Franck. It is a masterpiece.
Adrian, or whoever brought the piece in, deserves much credit for doing so.
Admission to all venues is $58. For tickets and other information, show up at the box office, call the Camerata Pacifica, 805-884-8410, or email email@example.com.