Three part Chaconne


string trio and piano left hand
Mixed Chamber Ensemble
Commissioned by the Nash Ensemble for their 25th anniversary seasonwith financial assistance from IBM UK ltd
First Performance
24.2.90, Wigmore Hall, London: Nash Ensemble

A4 facsimile score (fp) 0-571-55576-4, piano score and parts (fp) 0-571-55577-2 on sale

Programme Notes
Colin Matthews Three-part Chaconne for string trio and piano left-hand In the first part the strings spell out a version of the chaconne (a continuously repeated motive) in octaves while the piano plays improvisatorily against them; the second (and longest) part is a slow melodic crescendo and decrescendo in which the chaconne theme passes from instrument to instrument: the piano does not enter until the mid-point; in the third part the piano turns its first-part improvisation into a toccata-like presto. The combination of string trio with the left hand only of the piano was not specifically influence by a one-handed pianist (although hearing Leon Fleisher in recent years has been inspiring – he gave the first American performance of this piece in Washington in March 1992) but is, rather, a solution to the notorious difficulty of achieving balance within the ensemble – although I am very aware that a number of composers have solved that particular problem with ease! Three-part Chaconne lasts around nine minutes, and was commissioned by the Nash Ensemble with financial assistance from IBM UK Ltd. Colin Matthews

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