Piano Trio

piano trio

duration: 8′ 30″

Piano Trio was commissioned by the Southwest Chamber Players on the occasion of their fifteenth anniversary, in conjunction with the 100th celebration of the National Cherry Blossom Festival, Washington, D.C. It was premiered at St. Augustine’s Episcopal Church in Washington, D.C. on March 30th, 2012

Live recording by Emily Smith, violin; Karen Ouzounian, cello; and Lembit Beecher, piano :

Program Notes:

Piano Trio was commissioned by David Ehrlich for the Southwest Chamber Players, on the occasion of their fifteenth anniversary. It was premiered in 2012 in conjunction with the 100th National Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington DC. David had initially suggested I write a piece for skilled amateur performers, a piece in my own language that would make sense to players steeped in a tradition of romantic chamber music. Though the nature of the project changed and the piece grew in difficulty through the composing process, I freely allowed myself to be influenced by the expressive nature and formal design of 19th century chamber music. I played in a piano trio in high school, and while writing I discovered how strongly I still felt the pull of this repertoire. Given the occasion of work’s premiere, it makes sense that the other major influence on the piece was cherry trees themselves. I was drawn to the explosive, almost violent effect of their color, which is only emphasized by the long periods of stasis in-between periods of flowering. In fact, everything about the trees, their moderately small size, the gentle falling of their blossoms, and their appearance for 11 months of the year, stands in contrast to the magical effect of their once-a-year, short lived explosion of color. This juxtaposition stand at the heart of the piece. Piano trio is eight and a half minutes long.