Santa Barbara Music Club

Woodwinds and Piano

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Saturday, April 16, 2016
3:00 pm - 4:30 pm

Faulkner Gallery

Program Information

  • C.P.E. Bach: Oboe Sonata in A minor, H.562, “Poco adagio”
    Adelle Rodkey, oboe
  • Schumann: Fantasy Pieces, Op. 73
    Chad Cullins, clarinet
    Christopher Davis, piano
  • Leslie Hogan: Two Bagatelles (2003) and
    Image as Music (2012)
    Performed by the composer
  • Debussy: Beau Soir (arr. Todd Harris)
    Jules Mouquet: Pan and the Shepherds
    Benjamin Goddard: Valse
    Doppler: Fantaisie Pastorale Hongroise
    Tracy Harris, flute
    Svetlana Harris, piano

Notes on the Program

by Betty Oberacker

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.

The program opens with the lyrical “Poco adagio” from the Sonata in A minor, H. 562 of Carl Phillipp Emanuel Bach, performed by oboist Adelle Rodkey. Interestingly, even this early work, composed in 1735, enables us to detect the stylistic differences between the music of C.P.E. and that of his father, Johann Sebastian: both texture and intent of Emanuel’s music is lighter and more transparent, themes are more homophonic and less ornate, while the harmony is not so concentrated as is that of Johann Sebastian. But it is fascinating to note that the older Bach had a notably skeptical attitude to such a “light” style: “It is Prussian blue! And it will fade!” was his caustic comment on the works of his son.

Next, clarinetist Chad Cullins and pianist Christopher Davis interpret the poetic Fantasy Pieces, Op. 73 of Robert Schumann. Composed in 1849 for clarinet and piano, the composer indicated that the clarinet part could also be performed on viola or cello – and the work is in fact often performed in that form. “Fantasy Pieces” is a name of which Schumann was particularly fond, which he utilized in several other compositions, and which exemplified the fundamental romantic concept that creative expression is the product of the artist’s unrestricted imagination. So to, the connotations of “fantasy” justified the sudden mood changes, a signature of so much of Schumann’s music, reflecting the composer’s own frequently evanescent emotions and character.

Pianist and composer Leslie Hogan will then present her impressive Two Bagatelles (2003) and Image as Music (2012). Of the music, Dr. Hogan states:

“The two movements comprising Two Bagatelles, “Sleep” and “thoughts that fit like air …” were composed more than a decade apart and yet share, in their genesis, one essential element: the pleasure a pianist can have in composing for the piano. “Sleep,” though slow and often quiet, is not so much a lullaby as a musical representation of insomnia, or an uneasy drowsiness, with a hint of sweet resolution at the end. “Thoughts that fit like air …” owes much to minimalism in its texture and its joyous rush of sound. In that work, I was interested in exploring composite lines created by superimposing fragments of different lengths.

Image as Music was written to be performed at the Spoleto Festival as a part of a panel entitled Art, Creativity and Self-psychology: Aesthetic Gesture in the Arts, Self-Experience, and Psychoanalysis. The concept of gesture I chose to focus on was gesture as process, the act of creating music, and Image as Music was written as a kind of case study for that presentation. The three movements each have a specific image: “A little light on the water” sets out to capture a particular play of light on the Santa Barbara Channel, one made up of multiple shimmering layers over a barely moving, gleaming surface. The title is from a poem by Robert Hass. “The shape of her face” was written with the curve of my older daughter’s cheek in mind—though the music is also strongly influenced by my relationships with my children and the ways that those relationships can be intuitively expressed in music. The last movement, “Run,” is based on an image of a child running headlong across a lush, green meadow.”

The program will conclude with flutist Tracy Harris and pianist Svetlana Harris featuring four handsome works exemplifying the sensitivity and virtuosity of the flute repertoire: Claude Debussy’s impressionistic Beau Soir (Beautiful Evening), arranged by Todd Harris, Jules Mouquet’s delightful Pan and the Shepherds, from Le Flute de Pan, Op. 15, Benjamin Goddard’s romantic Valse, from Suite Op. 116, and Franz Doppler’s sparkling Fantaisie pastorale hongroise (Hungarian pastoral fantasy).