Santa Barbara Music Club

Pascal Salomon Recital

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Saturday, April 7, 2018
3:00 pm - 4:00 pm

First United Methodist Church

Pianist Pascal Salomon will perform J.S. Bach’s English Suite in G minor, Frédéric Chopin’s Nocturne in E-flat major, Op. 9, No. 2 and Polonaise-Fantaisie, Op. 61, and Claude Debussy’s L’isle joyeuse (The Joyful Island).  Admission is free.  This concert has been generously sponsored by Jane Ramsay in memory of her husband, William Ramsay.

Pascal Salomon, pianist, was born in Israel, grew up in France, studied at the Conservatoire National de Musique de Paris, earned the Virtuosity Degree at the Conservatoire Supérieur de Musique de Genève, Switzerland, and earned his DMA Degree from UCSB in 2017.  Awarded “Best French Pianist” at the Senigalia International Competition in Italy and winner of the Maria Canals International Competition in Barcelona, he taught piano at the Geneva Conservatory for ten years and has concertized in China, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Israel, Romania, Spain and Switzerland.  His new CD, Pascal Salomon Plays Schumann, has been released on the Polish label ART Records, and he has also recorded a forthcoming CD with violist Jacob Adams.

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) was the preeminent composer of the Baroque Era.  A renowned keyboard virtuoso,  his six English Suites, composed between 1715 and 1720, are the first of his large-scale keyboard works.  Thought to have been composed for an English nobleman, they are based on traditional dance forms, with a prelude preceding the movements.   The English Suite in G minor consists of six delightfully contrasting sections:  a rhythmically piquant Prelude, elegant Allemande, energetic Courante, thoughtful Sarabande, perky Gavottes I & II, and playful Gigue.

Frédéric Chopin (1810-1849) is best known for his music for solo piano, running the gamut from heartbreaking simplicity to dazzling virtuosity.  Together, the works on this concert cover that entire spectrum.  Though the Nocturne in E-flat major, Op. 9, No. 2 was composed when Chopin was around twenty years old, it already bears the hallmarks of his trademark romantic style:  characterized by exquisite melodic lines, at once naively simple yet deeply profound, the work has justifiably become his most popular composition in that genre.  Replete with formal intricacy as well as harmonic complexity, the Polonaise-Fantaisie, Op. 61, true to its title, is a composition inspired by both the Polish polonaise dance meter and the fantasy-like expressions of the composer’s musical imagination.

Claude Debussy (1862-1918) was a French composer whose compositional innovations had a profound influence on generations of composers.  L’isle joyeuse (The Joyful Island) was composed in 1904 and was inspired by Watteau’s painting Embarkation for Cythere.