Trio

2004c

violin, clarinet, piano

17'

Commissioned by the Bartók Trio (Marta Abraham, Nancy Braithwaite, Bas Verheijden), financially supported by the ThuisKopiefonds. 1st perf. November 2004, Kromme Rijn Concerts, Dutch Reformed Church, Bunnik.

 
    1.  Mesticcio
    2.  Nocturne
    3.  Jeu-parti

 

These audioclips are taken from the recording made by the Dutch ‘Concertzender’ at the premiere. You can also download movements 2 and 3 from the homepage in a special audiophile (dummyhead) recording by BINAURAL.

a note on the music

The Trio for violin, clarinet and piano (2004) was especially commissioned by the Bartók Trio: Hungarian violinist Marta Abraham, American clarinettist Nancy Braithwaite and Dutch pianist Bas Verheijden. Like Bartók, I am deeply attracted to Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven, composers who, as Bartók himself, knew how to mix folk music into their own style and who, each in his own very different way, used ‘sonata forms’ to this end.

The first movement of this Trio, a Mesticcio, is also a mixture of different musical styles, the roots of which seek to intermingle deep down in the endlessly variegated soil of sonata form – even though it is one that lacks the customary thematic return.

The second movement is a capricious Nocturne in the manner of Bartók’s “night musics”, brimming with dreamlike musical emergences some of which refer to the West (Schoenberg), some to the East. Here, as in Bartók, the Indonesian gamelan has a major role to play (in particular a Balinese dance melody to exorcise the devil), though for me, as an Indonesian-Dutch, it has a very different emotional meaning than it may have had for Bartók.

The third movement is called “Jeu-parti”, which is the alternate chant between lover and beloved that was practiced by the medieval troubadours and trouvères. The instruments sing to one another in different styles, eventually giving in to a tango-like dance. The piano responds to this by paraphrasing a beautiful ancient melody that I found in Adrian Valerius’ ‘Gedenck-Clanck’ from 1626: ‘Come Sheap-herders deck your heds’. The tango, combining with several motives from earlier movements, brings the work to a close.

The images below show the first pages of each movement.
The MP3’s are taken from the recording, by the Dutch Concertzender, of the first performance.

Mesticcio

Nocturne

Jeu-parti

These audioclips are taken from the recording made by the Dutch ‘Concertzender’ at the premiere. You can also download movements 2 and 3 from the homepage in a special audiophile (dummyhead) recording by BINAURAL.