The Santa Barbara Music Club kicks off its 2019-20 season of marvelous free concerts — its 50th — with a concert at 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 19, in the First United Methodist Church, 305 E. Anapamu St.

The performing artists will be the gifted clarinetist David Singer, and the incomparable pianist Betty Oberacker, in an afternoon of Bach and Brahms.

Oberacker begins the program, which the club has dubbed Apotheosis, playing the “Prélude and Fugue No. 1 in C-Major, BWV 870,” and the “Prélude and Fugue No. 13 in f#-minor, BWV 882” from Johann Sebastian Bach’s The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book II (1739-42), followed, as a kind of postscript, by Bach’s beloved “Italian Concerto, BWV 971” (1735).

She and David Singer will then join forces to conclude the concert with a performance of Johannes Brahms‘ “Clarinet-Piano Sonata in f-minor, Opus 120, No 1” (1894).

As noted above, admission to this event is free.

I have long maintained that, with her unique combination of precision and passion, Betty Oberacker is an ideal interpreter of Bach. And you needn’t take my word for it, you may hear for yourself.

Brahms’s two clarinet sonatas were the last chamber music he wrote, and if the soul of Brahms is most clearly articulated — not to mention most nakedly exposed — in his chamber works, then we should not be surprised that, having only recently learned to speak fluent clarinet, he should at once produce immortal poetry in the language.

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