New England Trio (2005), a Piano Trio in one movement, written for The Connecticut Trio
New England Trio was the result of a request by members of The Connecticut Trio, a piano trio in residence at Central Connecticut State University’s music department. They asked for a new work to be part of a program to be presented in Weill Recital in New York. It was composed over the winter break and completed in late January.
The piece is in one long movement and attempts to make equal use of the three instruments. This balance of instrumentation is always an issue when writing for this particular combination. The piano is often treated as two separate contrapuntal lines, making much of the work give the aural impression of a sort of “quartet.”
The raw material of the Trio is derived from two interlocking pitch sets which complement each other in a combinatorial way. They were first generated by the music heard in the opening, introductory section, which is played by the strings alone. These harmonies were the first conceptions for the piece. All of the music contained in the work is derived in some way from these pitch collections. The compositional process is serial, in the pitch parameter only.
After the opening section, which is quite slow and contemplative, there is a robust Andante portion which later recurs, and has a sort of Schoenbergian sweep. In an overall sense the progress of the work is one long acceleration of tempo. There are individual cadenzas which bifurcate the piece, and the Allegro section continues to pick up speed as the music spins to a rousing conclusion.
Piano score and parts: $24.00