This outstanding concert by the Santa Barbara Symphony demonstrated the organization’s international reach and commitment to developing new music. It also displayed the realistic, aspirational side of modernism as practiced by the Hungarian composer Béla Bartók, and how it has been reinterpreted by the young Italian Christian Carrara. […]
Christian Carrara’s Machpelah: Dialogue for Violin, Cello, and Orchestra (2015) brought soloists Francesca Dego and Robert DeMaine on stage for a fascinating and unpredictable journey through the Mediterranean classical tradition. Thoroughly modern without ever becoming dull or ugly, the piece reflected Carrara’s spiritual leanings in a structure that was by turns gentle and debonair. His stated ambition to “celebrate the eternity of love” in music was accomplished with gusto, and, in addition to the expected influences of Jewish and Arab music, I caught echoes of such popular American composers as Leonard Bernstein and John Williams.