Santa Barbara Music Club

Musical Diamonds

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Saturday, March 25, 2017
3:00 pm - 4:30 pm

Faulkner Gallery

In this concert, pianist Leslie Cain will present W.A. Mozart’s Sonata No. 14 in C Minor, KV 457 and Franz Liszt’s Hungarian Rhapsody #8 in F-sharp Minor.  Composer-pianist Eric Valinsky will perform his own Diamond Sonata.

Leslie Cain is a doctoral candidate in piano at the University of California Santa Barbara, where she studies with Paul Berkowitz. She completed her undergraduate studies at the Manhattan School of Music and also holds a degree in Philosophy from Cal State Los Angeles. Leslie was a participant in the 2016 Ecole d’Art Américaines, the renowned music festival held each summer at the Chateau de Fontainebleau, France. Her other recent appearances include the Appaloosa Festival in Front Royal, Virginia, adding classical music to their lineup of roots, rock and bluegrass performers.

Mozart’s Piano Sonata No. 14 in C Minor, KV 457 was completed in  October 1784 and published in December 1785 together with the Fantasy in C minor, K. 475.   It is one of only two keyboard sonatas that Mozart composed in a minor key.  The mood of the first movement is dramatic, and many musicologists see this sonata as a precursor to Beethoven’s Pathétique Sonata, which is in the same key.

Franz Liszt completed the Hungarian Rhapsody No. 8 in F-sharp Minor in 1847; it was published in 1853.  By turns melancholy and energetic, it makes use of authentic Hungarian folk materials, at times even imitating the sounds of the cimbalom, the Hungarian version of the dulcimer.

A native Manhattanite, Eric Valinsky maintains dual careers in computer systems architecture and music. He was educated at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music and the University of Illinois, achieving his DMA in music composition from Columbia University.  He is currently Music Director for the American Dance & Music Performance Group and moonlights as founder and partner of Inlineos LLC, a strategic Internet consulting company.

Valinsky wrote The Diamond Sonata for dancer and choreographer Carrie Diamond.  It is a deconstruction of Mozart’s Piano Sonata No. 10 in C Major, K 330, a work about which he was profoundly ambivalent.  Of The Diamond Sonata he writes, “This was a period of my life in which I was discovering the riches of twentieth century ballet music, particularly of Stravinsky. I admired Pulcinella and Le baiser de la fée, and I wondered whether the technique of modernizing an earlier work could be applied in the stern deconstructive environment of the late seventies. I realized that this could be my way of reconciling with K. 330 and I composed a stark, minimalistic deconstructed paraphrase of the piece. During the subsequent decades, I revised the sonata twice, each time getting to love the original work more and incorporating more of its elegance.”