Here comes another fabulous free concert from the generous artists of the Santa Barbara Music Club, at 3 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 25, in First United Methodist Church, 305 E. Anapamu St. Admission, as noted above, is free, and the public is cordially invited.
The afternoon’s musical banquet begins with Linda Holland’s “Double Road Home,” with the composer on flute; Marie Hébert on violin, and Anne Weger on piano, followed by soprano Deborah Bertling and pianist Tim Accurso performing a set of songs, including:
Samuel Barber’s “Must the Winter Come So Soon?” from “Vanessa” (1957-58); Sigurd Lie’s “Sne [Snow]” (1904); Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “It Might As Well Be Spring,” from “State Fair” (1945); Joseph Clokey’s “The Rose” (1928); and Eric Thiman’s “I Love All Graceful Things” (1937).
The concert concludes with bassoonist Paul Mori and harpist Laurie Rasmussen playing the “Sonata in a minor, VIII, RV 44” by Antonio Vivaldi; the “Poem for Bassoon and Harp” by the Norwegian Robert Rønnes (born 1959); and “Love Song” by the Canadian Mathieu Lussier (born 1973).
“Double Road Home” was composed for flutist Karin Nelson and violinist Maren Henle, who are twin sisters.
“Several years ago,, Maren went through a devastating, near–death, illness. The doctors told her twin, Karin, that Maren probably wouldn’t make it,” said Linda Holland. “Rather than accept the prognosis, Karin refused to believe it was time for her sister to go.
“I had a conversation and walk with Karin when this was happening and it left a lasting impression on me; the connection between the sisters was stronger than all of the expert’s medical advice. Maren went on to recover fully. I wrote these three movements for Karin and Maren and tasked them with naming the piece.
“They gave it the title ‘Double Road Home.’ Double refers to the twins themselves, and they both said the music sounds like a homecoming. Perhaps we are always working our way back to our center. This music is straight forward, written in my most accessible style, and is a celebration of the twins’ power of intuition, connection and faith.”
The vocal selections will eloquently speak for themselves. There are some very interesting and unusual selections. In this context, which introduces us to works we should know about but probably don’t, the Rogers & Hammerstein song makes a surprisingly strong showing; underscoring the fact that Richard Rodgers (1902-79) was not just a gifted Tin Pan Alley tunesmith — not that there is anything wrong with that — but a major American composer, with Leonard Bernstein and George Gershwin.
It is interesting to note that, almost 300 years after their deaths, Johann Sebastian Bach and Antonio Vivaldi continue to make frequent, regular appearances on our concert programs. Their continued popularity, however, is based on radically different, almost diametrically opposed, causes:
Most musicians would rather play Bach than any other composer, while most audiences never tire of listening to Vivaldi. The Vivaldi sonata was originally written for a cello with continuo.
Rønnes and Lussier are both composers of accessible, more romantic than anything else, music.