Avant Piano Trio - dedicatees of Seabourne Piano Trio

Piano Trio 2018

I. Bright, elegant - II Shadowy, rapid - III. Tender, poignant - IV. Fast, joyous, dancing

duration 24 minutes

It has been my great joy of late to work on a number of projects with talented young friends Rebecca Raimondi, Urška Horvat and Alessandro Viale (Avant Trio), both individually and collectively, on my own music and that of other composers for my CD label Sheva Contemporary. They requested a work to play alongside a new trio by my teacher Robin Holloway.

This is a substantial canvas of no little difficulty. The forces are used almost symphonically at times. Four movements follow a traditional pattern, with a scherzo placed second.

The opening movement, with its insistent mordent figurations, attempts a certain poise and elegance, yet frequently more expansive, romantic gestures gain the upper hand. The second movement is a dark, shadowy flurry - at times, a veritable cascade - furious even. Half way through, fate knocks at the door but to announce unexpectedly a stately lyricism which grows ever richer, before the river floods back in. The third movement owes perhaps something to the "alla Schumann" maner of Robin Holloway and presents a tender cantilena surrounding a more sobre central section and a brief, wistful dance. The finale resumes the bright confidence of the first movement, weaving and ducking quite perkily, though a final coda sees the reappearance of the lyrical passage from the scherzo, tranformed (transfiguered even) into a majestic hymn. The dance resumes and everyone scampers off over the hill.

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