Dan Lazarescou – Dances of the Sea (2011)

Dan Lazarescou is a composer originally from Romania who now lives in Dallas. He professes a love of music and science, and having had difficulty choosing, he ended up doing both. After a more than twenty-year career as an electrical engineer in the aviation field, he took up formal training as a composer at Southern Methodist University (SMU) in 2002. Since then he has produced opus upon opus both for the concert stage and for film.

“Dances of the Sea” is scored for flute, clarinet, horn, violin, cello, and piano. Part of the allure of the piece is the broad palette of colors Lazarescou achieves with the instruments. The composer’s program notes state that it expresses his appreciation for the (French) impressionists. One is immediately aware of this from his choices of timbre and also especially his use of whole-tone scales.

Each of the three movements boasts a suggestive title. “Breaking the Waves” undulates and splashes with so much conviction that one practically feels the spray from the spume and smells the gusts of salt-air. “The Dance Lesson” begins as polite courtly dance, but it gradually adds energy and enthusiasm until it romps through the strains of a playful waltz. The pounding rhythms of “The Tritons’ Dance” seem to have their roots in a locale east of France and perhaps closer to Lazarescou’s native Romania.

The horn part remains comfortably between written G3 and G5. It presents a few rhythmic challenges, but a precocious high school student could probably play it. The horn does not have a particularly featured role, but the nature of the ensemble is such that it is always heard when it plays. The second movement opens with an attractive lyrical solo.

The video linked here is the premiere performance that I conducted at the 2011 Belvedere Chamber Music Festival. To obtain sheet music, you can contact the composer through his website.

Dan Lazarescou’s Website

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