Halida Dinova / Alexander Tchernushenko

Dennis Eberhard: Piano Concerto "Shadow of the Swan"; Prometheus Wept

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Thickly layered with extra-musical meanings and imbued with tragedy, Dennis Eberhard's works are neither ingratiating nor easy to absorb emotionally. Shadow of the Swan: Concerto for piano & orchestra is a disturbing meditation on the sinking of the Russian submarine Kursk in August 2000; and Prometheus Wept (August 6, August 9, 1945) for solo bass & string orchestra is a lament for the victims of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Linked to these works are numerous other associations, such as the Challenger explosion, the Chernobyl disaster, and even the calamities prophesied in the Book of Revelations. With so much adversity to ponder, Eberhard's densely textured, darkly scored works are hard to appreciate on purely musical terms. Much of his music derives from the complex sonorities of the spectral school, yet there are passages that suggest other influences, ranging from the "night music" of Bartók to the modal, elegiac expressions of Górecki and Pärt. One presumes that pianist Halida Dinova, bass vocalist Piotr Migunov, and the St. Petersburg Cappella Symphony Orchestra, directed by Alexander Tchernoushenko, perform Eberhard's scores with understanding and accuracy, but the music's introversion and unpredictable convolutions provide few clues to form an objective judgment. The recorded sound is clear and resonant.

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