Score and parts 0-571-56855-6 (fp) on sale
There is no hidden programme for this little trio, but the title, used by John Dowland for consort and viol music has its own resonance. It is a quiet and oblique work with a simple and clear shape. Although there is only one movement, it contains six juxtaposed fragments (one of which is repeated): 1. A throwaway opening dominated by the piano, but with viola and clarinet providing echoes and resonance, steadily acquires force and energy and builds to 2. a slow, almost monumental section of descending, alternating major thirds and minor sixths. From out of the gloom at the end of this bit emerges 3. a little imitative passage, shared between the three, and which the piano softly punctuates, gathering up the harmony. This leads to 4. a scurrying, sotto voce clarinet solo. 5. The descending-chords passage comes again: this time stretched and shrunk (…minor thirds, major sixths). The music again darkens, this time into 6. a ruminative viola solo against a wash of clarinet and keyboard. Seven repeated notes toll the music into 7. a final gentle and melancholy envoy.
© John Woolrich