|Composition Year||1985 ca.|
|Genre Categories||; ;; ; ;|
|Work Title||Trio for Viola, Cello and Piano|
|Composer||Sydeman, William Jay|
|I-Catalogue NumberI-Cat. No.||IWS 45|
|Year/Date of CompositionY/D of Comp.||1985 ca.|
|Average DurationAvg. Duration||8 minutes|
|Composer Time PeriodComp. Period||Modern|
|Instrumentation||viola, cello, piano|
I had a somewhat brief flirtation with the viola in the ’80s, to the extent that I attended and performed in chamber music workshops. It seemed to me there was (sadly) a somewhat limited repertoire for viola, cello and piano, and as there were some colleagues of that description, I wrote this work.
The first movement is quite pretty (I believe that is the right word, believe it or not), and the second quite gracious (ditto). Apparently these qualities lie latent in my personality and it only took a viola to nudge them forth. Musicians sharing these personality quirks might enjoy performing this piece, or might not... or something.
As for details – the viola and cello play independent counterpoints in the first movement while surrounded by arpeggiated figures in the piano, all in the context of a somewhat (pretty) sad expression. The second movement is an (almost) dance in a 20th century courtly manner (if that is imaginable). There is some strenuous playing in all parts. All of that being said, the language as well as technical demands of the piece reflect the fact that it was written for amateurs. so are tonal and not overly demanding. Perhaps the second “dancy” movement is a bit quirky. but who says that amateurs can't have their quirks – particularly as the word “amateur” actually means “lover of”.
– W. Jay Sydeman