Viola, cello and piano. A swift and aggressive four movement romp through miniaturized classical forms.
Viola Trio premiered on Lois Martin’s recital, sponsored by the League of Composers / ISCM at the Tenri Institute, on May 10th, 2015, at 5 PM.
Lois Martin, viola; Molly Morkoski, piano; Caroline Stinson, ‘cello.
*written for Lois Martin.
Lois Martin has been one of the pillars of the new music community in New York City for the last few decades, responsible for numerous new works, important premieres, and stunning performances. She is a champion of new music and new music performance. In 2008, she asked me to write a piece for her, for some future recital – a solo, or a piece for small chamber ensemble, perhaps. Although Lois shines in every context as a performer, I really appreciate how she thrives when she plays chamber music and so wrote a piece for piano trio. I completed the piece in 2010, and made minor revisions in 2013 and 2014.
The piece uses a freely atonal / extended tonal language, and incorporates classical / romantic era tropes and devices, in structure, phrasing and motivic material, but instead of the patient, often poised or at least methodical development typical of the classical or romantic era, in this work we thrash through the ideas quickly, often urgently, rushing through four movements in just 13 minutes.
The piece’s four contrasting movements:
- Energetically (quarter note = 72)
- Moderato (same tempo)
- Allegro (hushed) (quarter note = 102)
- Agitated, with great feeling. (quarter note = 72)