Trio sonata : for alto flute, clarinet in A and piano
by Elliott Gyger (1994)
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This work was written for a concert juxtaposing my music with that of Elliott Carter. Apart from a superficial resemblance in the performing forces (two melody instruments plus a bass/harmony instrument), this Trio Sonata has nothing to do with 17th/18th century models: like Stravinsky's (or Carter's) use of the word 'symphony', 'sonata' is to be understood literally, as something which is played or "sounded". In a sense, the title refers not to the work as a whole, but to the goal of the musical argument, an ideal state of affairs which for the most part proves elusive. At the beginning the three instruments play as solos, simultaneously but separated from one another through rhythm, pitch and articulation (for example, the alto flute is always legato, while the clarinet plays tenuto and the piano's material is staccato). As the piece unfolds, these solos are brought together in various combinations, and begin to coalesce in true duets. Only in one passage, towards the end of the piece, do the three instruments actually "sound" together as a trio: It is not long, however, before the new-found sense of ensemble is lost once more.
Instrumentation: Alto flute, clarinet in A, piano.
Duration: 7 min.
- In the form/style of: Sonatas
Performances of this work
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