Impressions from the Black Sea

for French Horn and Orchestra

Program Notes

Program Notes
  • I

    Pontus Euxinus

  • II

    The Bridge at Drobeta

  • III

    Trials and Tribulations

  • IV

    The Black Sea

(performed with interruption only between movements II and III)

Impressions from the Black Sea

is a symphonic work of loose musical impressions of memories of the Black Sea. Called Pontos Axeinos (The Dark or Inhospitable Sea) by the ancient Greeks or, later, Pontus Euxinus (The Hospitable Sea) by the Romans, the Black Sea witnessed the tumultuous birth and history of the six modern countries which share today its shores: Romania to the northwest, Ukraine to the north, Russia and Georgia to the east, Turkey to the south and Bulgaria to the southwest.

The first movement, Pontus Euxinus, opens the work with impressions of a hospitable sea.

The Bridge at Drobeta, over the Danube, was built and crossed by the Roman legions Legio II Adjutrix recalled from the British Islands, Legio IV Flavia Felix recalled from Moesia Superior (modern Serbia), and a detachment of Legio VI Ferrata recalled from the Roman province of Judea. The Roman legions conquered Dacia (modern Romania) during the Dacian Wars, commemorated by the bas-reliefs of Trajan’s Column in the center of Rome.

Trials and Tribulations are inspired by two Romanian folk songs: Mocirita cu trifoi, a love song, and Cantec de catanie, an army drafting old song.

The last movement, The Black Sea, brings back polyphonically the previous musical themes. The memories of the welcoming sea conclude the Impressions from the Black Sea.

Performed by Memphis Symphony Orchestra, October 13 and 15, 2023.
Music director: Maestro Robert Moody
Solo French Horn: Caroline Kinsey

Dan Lazarescou