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Three-movement composition formally resembles traditional instrumental concerto:
slow second movement and fast finale follow the first movement in free sonata form.
However, atonality and 12-tone harmony introduce a significant correction to generally
neoclassical context of the work and make the conventional structures rather facultative.
Free transitions of sound images become the main contest of these actually free and flexible
forms, and these transitions extend from pointilistic shimmering, hesitating and groping for
harmony to intensive melodic stream, from asthenic prostration to grotesque mobility, from
lone inner voice to noisy tutti. Free chromatic scale is extended with quartertone fluctuations
(exposed mostly in the solo part). Among the instruments of the ensemble the contrabass plays
special role, often being "distorting mirror" of the cello: romantic spirituality of the cello
phrases is often followed with the contrabass parody.
The work was awarded the Third prize at the International Gustav Mahler Composer's Competition in Klagenfurt, Austria. It was recorded for the French CD label Le Chant du Monde by outstanding Russian cellist Alexander Rudin and the Moscow Contemporary Music Ensemble.
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© 2000 by Alexander Shchetynsky