Santa Barbara Music Club Free Concerts
On SATURDAY, DECEMBER 2 AT 3 PM the Santa Barbara Music Club will present another program in its popular series of concerts of beautiful Classical music. This concert will be held at First United Methodist Church, 305 E. Anapamu Street, Santa Barbara, CA. Admission is free.
One of the highlights of Santa Barbara Music Club's concerts is the opportunity for audiences to hear great music from a variety of historical periods, with a diversity of musical forms, performed by excellent artists. This concert features music for two pianos by W.A. Mozart, Emma Lou Diemer, and Johannes Brahms.
Pianists Davis Reinhart and Christopher Davis will perform W.A. Mozart’s Sonata for Two Pianos in D Major, KV 448.
Composed in 1781, this Sonata is Mozart’s is one of a handful of works for two keyboards and his only sonata for that combination. It has been described as “music of pure joy – graceful, songful, elegant, and virtuosic.” Mozart wrote it for a performance he would give with Josephine von Aurnhammer, who also appeared with him in his Concerto for Two Pianos and Orchestra. As an aside, this sonata was the one used in the 1993 scientific study that tested the theory of the "Mozart Effect," suggesting that Classical music increases brain activity more positively than other kinds of music.
Bradley Gregory and Tachell Gerbert will give the Santa Barbara premiere of Emma Lou Diemer’s Norteamexispanicumsake (1995).
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.
Pianists Betty Oberacker and Eric Valinsky conclude the program with one of Johannes Brahms' most magnificent – yet seldom performed - creations: the Sonata in F minor, Op. 34b. Interestingly, Brahms had originally formulated the work for string quintet, but then destroyed that score after converting it to this two-piano format and giving the premiere performance with the virtuoso pianist Carl Tausig. He subsequently arranged the two-piano score for the version in which it is now known, his Piano Quintet in F minor, Op. 34 (but with this this history notwithstanding, the two-piano version is typically considered an arrangement of the Piano Quintet, and is even listed as such on the title page of the two-piano score!).
The sonata's four movements comprise a compendium of not only Brahms' incredible romantic beauty and compositional mastery, but a massive structure of symphonic scope: from the secure assurance of the exciting "Allegro non troppo" through the velvet texture and yearning melodic passion of the "Andante, un poco adagio," through the wild syncopation and relentless brooding of the "Scherzo: Allegro," through to the mysterious introduction bursting into the triumphant outburst of the Hungarian-inspired "Finale: Poco sostenuto-Allegro non troppo" we experience a singularly powerful affirmation, a dark, mighty work of tremendous import.
The mission of the Santa Barbara Music Club is to contribute to the musical life of our community through the following:
Presentation of an annual series of concerts, free to the public, featuring outstanding solo and chamber music performances by Performing Members and invited guests;
Presentation of community outreach activities, including bringing great music to residents of area retirement homes;
Aiding and encouraging musical education by the disbursement of scholarships to talented local music students.
For information on this or other Santa Barbara Music Club programs and performing artists, visit SBMusicClub.org.