String Trio No.2


string trio
Mixed Chamber Ensemble, String Ensemble
Commissioned by the Cheltenham International Festival of Music with funds from South West Arts
First Performance
15.7.03, Cheltenham Festival, Pittville Pump Room, Cheltenham, UK: Leopold Trio

Score and parts on special sale from the hire library

Programme Notes

This piece, written between January and April 2003, is in two movements of approximately equal length which play continuously and last about twelve minutes in all. The overall formal model is taken from North Indian classical music in which, characteristically, a slow, freely improvised section is followed by a fast section based on a rhythmic pattern, and a sustained note is felt throughout as the basic tonality. My Trio broadly adheres to this scheme: its two movements are, respectively, slow and fast; both movements are based on the tonality of G; both begin with deliberate reference to the sound of Indian music. Both movements, however, develop in ways that contradict the stylistic model. The first movement becomes a set of variations, each of which is in a different tonality (arrived at through the cycle of fifths) and include a blues, a canon, and a chorale. The second movement is a further series of variations on those of the first movement. It is based almost throughout on G, including some rhythmic and sonoric explorations of the actual note G, but near the end there is a sudden shift to C major and a swift and exuberant progression through the first movement's keys (the cycle of fifths in a downward direction as far as C sharp) before a return to G for the assertive ending. String Trio No. 2 was commissioned by the Cheltenham International Festival of Music with funds from South West Arts.

© David Matthews

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