SEAN HICKEY (b.1970): Cello Concerto (Dmitry Kouzov [cello], St. Petersburg State Symphony Orchestra; Vladimir Lande), Clarinet Concerto (Alexander Fiterstein [clarinet], St. Petersburg State Academic Symphony Orchestra; Lande).
Catalogue Number: 06O087
Reference: DE 3448
Description: Hickey's idiom is strongly tonal, and broadly neo-romantic in style, with a neo-classical concern for structure and textural clarity. The cello concerto opens in heroic mood, making the most of the solo instrument's sonorous, declamatory capabilities, against a crisp, Stravinskyan backdrop. The second movement finds the cello in elegiac, expressive mood, with some quasi-programmatic intent inspired by the news coverage of the bloodshed in the Iraq war at the time of composition (2008), expressed in an accompanied cadenza that pits the mourning cello against vividly depicted sounds of warfare from the percussion. The finale leaves this mood behind, bringing the work to an energetic conclusion with somewhat Bernsteinian strut and swagger, and distinct echoes of Shostakovich. The clarinet concerto consists of a sprightly first movement with a lively solo part, with lyrical episodes that emphasize the instrument's singing quality. The second movement is pervaded by a misty, slightly melancholy pastoral atmosphere, suggesting a lonely coastline or moorland, which makes the appearance of fragments of Scottish folk tunes in the energetic finale all the more appropriate.