by Gerald Carpenter

POP ART & EXILES: The Community
Arts Music Association
(CAMA) is bringing
the beloved mezzo-soprano Frederica von Stade and
the noted bass Samuel Ramey to the Arlington for a
recital at 8 p.m. this Saturday, April 1. Pianist Martin
will accompany. The program will consist of songs by
Pauline Viardot, Jacques Ibert,
Aaron Copland, George Gershwin,
Cole Porter, Richard Rodgers,
Jerome Kern, Stephen Sondheim,
and Irving Berlin. Your guess is as good as mine
as to how this concert took this shape, so pointedly leaning toward
Tin Pan Alley. Nevertheless, with such stellar performers and so
many delicious tunes, the evening is bound to please and charm. For
tickets and information about CAMA, call 966-4324; for tickets
only, call 963-4408.

A more serious, if decidedly not solemn, event will be the
Santa Barbara Master Chorale singing one of the
most enduringly popular — in several ways — works in its
repertoire, the oratorio Canto General, with a libretto
based on poems by the Chilean Nobel Laureate, Pablo
, and music by the extraordinary contemporary Greek
composer, Mikis Theodorakis. Soloists, chorus, and
an unusual instrumental ensemble (guitars, percussion, etc.) will
all be conducted by music director Phillip
. The performance begins at 8 p.m. on Saturday,
April 1, and shows again at 3 p.m. on Sunday, April 1, at First
Presbyterian Church (State and Constance). For tickets, call
967-8287 for advance purchase information.

Theodorakis’s music is not just inseparable from his life (what
composer’s isn’t?), it is inseparable from the history of his
country in the 20th century, and of that century on earth. He
studied music in the most formal way you can imagine, in Paris
under Olivier Messiaen. He has written symphonies,
concertos, oratorios, and every combination of chamber ensembles.
Yet he also fought in the resistance in World War II, and was twice
captured and tortured by the Nazis. During the Greek Civil War he
was exiled to a remote island, where he was regularly beaten. When
a junta of army officers murdered the Liberal Deputy
Lambrakis in 1963, Theodorakis founded the
Lambrakis Democratic Youth and became a liberal member of the Greek
Parliament. In 1967, the colonels overthrew the democratic
government of Greece, and Theodorakis had to go underground. He was
captured and imprisoned, then booted out of Greece; he wandered in
exile from tyranny. In Chile, he met Pablo Neruda. They hit it off.
Eventually, we got Canto General.

It was Theodorakis’s luck — and curse — to excel in the two most
significant musical forms of his age, the song and the motion
picture score. His song-writing ability is amply represented in
Canto General. The films he scored include Phaedre,
Zorba the Greek, Z, State of Siege
, and Serpico.

It seems like forever, but at last we get another concert from
the Current Sounds New Music Consortium — at 8
p.m. on Monday, April 3, in First United Methodist Church (305 E.
Anapamu). I have only heard one of the works on the program, but I
trust this crew.

This concert introduces to me the Ojai String
(Yue Deng and Amy
, violins; Kirsten Monke, viola; and
Virginia Kron, cello) — though I have long known
and admired them as individuals — to Mario
’s Reflejos de la Noche (1984), William
Grant Still
’s Danzas de Panama (1953), and selections from
Osvaldo Golijov’s Yiddishbbuk: Inscriptions for
String Quartet (1992). Soprano Agatha Carubia and
pianist Seungah Seo return with Elaine
’s 2002 work, Cante Jondo, Six Poems by
Federico Garcia Lorca. Pianist Robert
and violinist Yue Deng play
Claus Ogermann’s Sarabande-Fantasie and
Nightwings. The concert ends with pianist Leslie
and cellist Virginia Kron playing
works of Chen Yi and Hogan. Tickets will be
available only at the door. For more information, call


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