Sergey Zhukov    



honored art worker of Russian Federation




Sergey Zhukov: Concerto-Sacra

Immediately after the Concerto Mystery, and at the request of the Bekova Sisters, Sergey Zhukov wrote Concerto Sacra for a trio of soloists and orchestra. In this work he used material from the Partita for unaccompanied violin, based on a Kant (Russian or Ukrainian seventeenth-century anthem). Moreover, the composer makes great play of the musical initials of the performers in the themes of the work: B flat, E and A. The instruments seem to pronounce these names, and address one another; in the rhythms of the phrases you can hear something like the words Alfia, 'Eleonora, 'Elvira', 'Bekova'.

In the Concerto Sacra there is no unified trio of soloists, but a piano and string duet set in opposition to one another. This is apparent even in the first movement, Canzone dolore.

After the piano breaks away downward to a cluster, the dynamic second movement Atto e recilativo begins. The instruments scamper about chromatically from a pivotal note, and after a climax, the piano has a long recitative. The cello and violin sob. Their weeping increases in pitch, and in the end blends into the orchestral background — rustling string harmonics.

The last movement is entitled Canzone Sacra. A piano chorale suggests the words 'Lord have mercy upon us'. This chorale serves as a climax and concluding solo for the piano.


  Sergey Biryukov




Concerto Sacra

The Concerto Sacra is a serious work, somber and personal, with a mystical, almost religious atmosphere. Highly chromatic yet with clear tonal centers, the work generates a meditative or ritual mood with drama and tension - of an inner, psychological kind - in abundance. The Bekova Sisters, Residentie Orchestra The Hague; George Pehlivanian. Chandos 9588 (England)


 Annotation for booklet, 1998