Hidden Agenda - Piano Trio No.2


piano trio
Mixed Chamber Ensemble
Commissioned by the Winchester Chamber Music Festival with financial support
from the following friends of the festival:
Jane and Roger Austin
Keith Bennett
Peter and Irene Casey
Christine Chamberlain
Alan Cook
Tim and Maureen Cox
Robert Eardley
Eileen Gorrod
Susan and John Gould
Alfred W Lester
Robert and Jillie Linn Ottley
Kate and Philip Morgan
Jane Poulter
Val Powis
Natalie Shaw
Tony and Andy Stoller
Eleanor Waterhouse
Hilary and Colin Webster
Louise Woods
John and Jill Yarnold
Caroline and Richard York
And twenty five friends who prefer to remain anonymous
together with Hinrichsen Foundation and Winchester City Council


First Performance
First two movements: 28.4.2017, Winchester Chamber Music Festival, Winchester Discovery Centre, Winchester, Hampshire, UK: London Bridge Trio Complete premiere: 4.5.2018, Winchester Chamber Music Festival, Winchester Discovery Centre, Winchester, Hampshire, UK: London Bridge Trio

Score and parts on special sale from the Hire Library

Programme Notes

I. Larghetto
II. Sostenuto
III. Scurrying
IV. Coda. Calmo

My previous piano trio, written several years ago, was called Nowhere to Hide, whose title came from John Adams’ immediate response when I told him that I was writing a piano trio. So this sequel, which the London Bridge Trio proposed two years ago, seemed to demand a similar title, which at the time was a provisional one. I haven’t wanted to change it, although what the ‘hidden agenda’ is is still not entirely clear to me now that the work is complete – it relates, perhaps, more to the extended process of composition that to any underlying programmatic content.  But it is certainly a better title than the prosaic alternative,  ‘Piano Trio no 2’!

The first two movements, written and performed last year, consist of  a declamatory and forceful introduction dominated by the piano, which gives way to a gentle sequence of descending chords with more lyrical writing for the strings, then a brief scherzo-like section leading back to a quiet reprise of the opening. In. the second movement, the piano’s similarly descending chords are decorated by muted flurries from the strings. The faster material from the first movement becomes both the basis for the third  - whose marking ‘Scurrying’ says all that needs to be said – and, slowed down, for the final movement, which ends with a quite reflection on the opening of the work.


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