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American Classics - Eberhard: Piano Concerto, Etc


Release Date: 07/20/2004 
Label:  Naxos   Catalog #: 8559176   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Dennis Eberhard
Performer:  Halida DinovaPiotr Migunov
Conductor:  Alexander Tchernushenko
Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Petersburg Capella Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 0 Hours 56 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Both of these works were inspired by tragic events; the Piano Concerto is a memorial to the lost crew of the Russian nuclear submarine Kursk, and Prometheus Wept is a reflection on the atomic bombing of Japan at the end of WW II. Fortunately, they are not dour works, and are, at turns, even uplifting. “Shadow of the Swan” follows a symbolic trajectory, pushing down in the first movement, bottoming out in the gentle Requiem movement in the middle, and then shooting back up again in a stirring reaffirmation of life. Dennis Eberhard’s means for making this expression is multistylistic, anchored by a large, luminously textured orchestra. The solo piano is a thread in the fabric, rather than a conventionally protaganistic voice. His language is Read more essentially tonal and accessible, but not at all simplistic, delivering the kind of solid emotional wallop that invites repeated listening. In every respect, this is a strong and well-crafted work.

Prometheus Wept is certainly a darker work than the Piano Concerto. It opens with a monolithic Orthodox chant that simply rises chromatically, covering most of the range of the singer. That chromaticism is then reflected in the music for string orchestra that follows, although—instead of going straight up the scale—it circles around and flutters up and down. Eberhard does not acknowledge it in his eloquent program notes, but this music seems to make more than a mere nod to another work inspired by the horror of atomic warfare, Penderecki’s Threnody for Victims of Hiroshima.

Dennis Eberhard is an American composer, born in 1943, but it would be easy to mistake him for a contemporary Russian composer. He has an intense interest in Russian culture, and met the fine pianist on this recording, Halida Dinova, while editing her recording of Scriabin piano works. His use of Russian musicians, especially basso-profundo Piotr Migunov, adds a distinctive resonance to the music.

Peter Burwasser, FANFARE
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Works on This Recording

1. Concerto for Piano "Shadow of the Swan" by Dennis Eberhard
Performer:  Halida Dinova (Piano)
Conductor:  Alexander Tchernushenko
Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Petersburg Capella Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Notes: This work was written as a memorial to the victims of the Russian submarine Kursk accident. 
2. Prometheus Wept by Dennis Eberhard
Performer:  Piotr Migunov ()
Conductor:  Alexander Tchernushenko
Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Petersburg Capella Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 

Sound Samples

Piano Concerto, "Shadow of the Swan": I. The Fall
Piano Concerto, "Shadow of the Swan": II. Requiem
Piano Concerto, "Shadow of the Swan": III. Quickening
Prometheus Wept

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