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Calliope dreaming : for violin, cello and piano

by Elena Kats-Chernin (2008)

Score Sample

View a sample of the score of this work

Audio Sample

Performance by Streeton Trio from the CD Works for piano trio

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Works for piano trio


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Works for piano trio / Elena Kats-Chernin ; Streeton Trio.

Library shelf no. CD 2483 [Available for loan]

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Work Overview

Composing this piece was part of the D2H festival in which 18 composers around the world were commissioned to write a piece as a tribute to Joseph Haydn. Early in the process of conceiving this piece, while researching about Haydn and his music, I came across a sentence in some of his biographies that he wished for the slow movement of his "Mourning Symphony" nr 44 ("TRAUERSINFONIE") to be played at his funeral. Somehow that ignited my imagination. I thought that this notion perhaps would create a connection to the occasion for which I was writing this trio, the anniversary of Haydn's death.
While studying the work, I realized that there were so many beautiful inspiring motifs in it that I decided to compose a fantasy on the many different themes of the symphony, without keeping to the order in which they originally appeared. While I worked quite freely with these motifs, I did give the slow movement more exposure than to other themes. Naturally, during the process of the composing, my own motifs crept in and the whole mood of the piece started to take a shape which was more in line with the Finale of the symphony, which is based on the edgy rhythmic material that I really liked very much.
My piece for the trio is overall quite energetic, however with some calmer moments. Because of the upbeat character of most of the piece, the following association occured tome: that of a piece played by a Calliope, a keyboard instrument made up of steam whistles. In Greek mythology, Calliope is also a name for a muse of epic poetry, which I thought was somehow a bonus, even though the piece is not epic, but maybe has some poetic moments.

Work Details

Year: 2008

Instrumentation: Violin, cello, piano.

Duration: 8 min.

Difficulty: Advanced

Commission note: Commissioned by 'Haydn2009' and is'DedicatedToHaydn' (www.d2h.at)

First performance: by Haydn Trio — May 09. Schloss Esterhazy in Eisenstadt, Austria

Performances of this work

9 Dec 2023: at Government House Fundraiser (Government House (Canberra)). Featuring Kristen Williams, Patrick Suthers, Scott Davie.

26 Oct 2021: at The Distance of Dreams (Melbourne Recital Centre, Primrose Potter Salon). Featuring Orpheus Trio.

1 Apr 2019: at Dedications (Melbourne Recital Centre, Primrose Potter Salon). Featuring Strelitzia Ensemble.

1 Apr 2019: at Strelitzia: Dedications (Melbourne Recital Centre, Primrose Potter Salon). Featuring Strelitzia Piano Trio.

5 May 2018: at A Classic Celebration – for Australian Parliament House (Great Hall, Parliament House). Featuring Musicians of the Canberra Symphony Orchestra.

13 Nov 2010: at Dedications (Eugene Goossens Hall). Featuring Strelitzia Piano Trio.

May 09: Schloss Esterhazy in Eisenstadt, Austria. Featuring Haydn Trio.

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