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10.15.08

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Phaedra

Three's A Charm : Members of the Santa Cruz Chamber Players perform the concert 'Debussy's Trio' this weekend.

World Beats

The Santa Cruz Chamber Players open an eclectic 30th season.

By Scott MacClelland


Any given Santa Cruz Chamber Players program is prepared and led by its own music director. To open SCCP's 30th season, that would be Lars Johannesson, the Swedish flutist who spent his formative years in Liberia as preparation for his bold move to Santa Cruz. In this rarified ecosystem, Johannesson computers a little and flutes a lot. Like nearly all SCCP programs, this one's uniqueness is dictated by the configuration of instruments. Joining Johannesson's flute will be Susan Brown's viola and Jennifer Cass' harp. For this purpose, the prototype is Claude Debussy's innovative three-movement Sonate en trio of 1915.

About his Summer morning, summer afternoon, composer Gary Schocker says, "The piece is certainly French. I think almost anything for flute and harp ends up sounding that way." Schocker is a high-profile flutist who has appeared as a soloist with major orchestras in the United States and abroad and with many of the biggest names in classical music. He is also a pianist and composer, principally of works featuring the flute but with a wide-ranging portfolio.

Toru Takemitsu's international fame was established in 1959 by Igor Stravinsky, who publicly praised Takemitsu's Requiem for Strings. Applying Western compositional techniques--largely self-taught--to his native Japanese sensibilities, Takemitsu composed prolifically, and is probably best known (or not known) to those fans worldwide of the best of Japanese cinema. And then I knew 'twas wind has a "dreamlike episodic nature and a smooth unimpeded flow of sound and silence throughout," says Johannesson, that "negates any feeling of bar lines, pulse or beat by constantly changing the time signatures and tempos."

Ohio resident Richard Arnest, an accomplished flutist with a keen interest in Renaissance wind instruments, says of his Evocation, "The motives arrived in May; the shape in September." He explains, "Both states of mind are reflected in the music, which may be seen as emblematic of a formal and ceremonial view of day-by-day events in the world."

Canadian composer/conductor Milton Barnes was commissioned to celebrate the 80th birthday, in 1991, of Goldie Kosover, founder of the popular Harbord Bakery in Toronto. Harbord Street is a suite of dances recalled by the composer from his childhood in that neighborhood, ranging "from marching bands to the sounds of jazz, swing and Latin," noting, "The only thing missing about the old neighborhood is the smell of a good Jewish bakery!"


SANTA CRUZ CHAMBER PLAYERS
They perform their first concert, 'Debussy's Trio: Impressionism and Beyond,' on Saturday, Oct. 18, at 8pm and Sunday, Oct. 19, at 3pm at Christ Lutheran Church, 10707 Soquel Dr., Aptos; Tickets $20 general/$15 seniors/$10 youth, available at Santa Cruz Civic box office, 307 Church St., Santa Cruz.


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