Trio for Horn, Cello and Piano (2007)
The conventional instrumentation for a horn trio is with a violin and a piano. Among the great composers who wrote with this instrumentation were Johannes Brahms, and, close to a hundred years later, György Ligeti. Evidently, there were not many attempts on this combination throughout the history. The primary reason for this, I believe, is that the horn and the violin really do not blend together quite well. The cello, however, has a fuller sound that is capable of embracing the horn’s sound as opposed to a violin, which often sticks out in this combination.
Commissioned by hornist Micheal Walker, the Trio for Horn, Cello and Piano is my attempt to create a new trio combination. Throughout the piece, you will hear a primary melodic motive, which is introduced by the piano at first, passing on to the other two instruments. Occasionally, the motive is hidden, overlapped (stretto), transposed, augmented or even inverted. The slow section is a reminiscence of Claude Debussy’s “The Sunken Cathedral.” After a dissonant “call” from the piano and the cello, the piece is interrupted by a violent third theme. The themes come back several times and are altered every time. If there is a form to this piece, it is “continuous development.”
The attempt to incorporate the primary melodic motive into three different sections of the piece is my major task for this piece.
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