for clarinet, violin, and piano
Instrumentation: clarinet, violin, and piano
I. Timeless, reverberant; Scherzando
III. Propulsive, driving forward
Duration: 16 minutes
World Premieres: Though I have written other trios (a piano trio and string trio), this work introduces the clarinet into the ensemble and has special significance for me since my family members play all three of these instruments. This 16-minute Trio was co-commissioned by the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and Wigmore Hall in honor of clarinetist David Shifrin. Shifrin performed the work's world premiere at Lincoln Center's Alice Tully Hall with pianist Anne-Marie McDermott and violinist Ani Kavafian on November 20, 2011. The group then took it on tour to Europe where they performed at London’s Wigmore Hall.
The opening features the clarinet with a rising, hauntingly lyrical line, accompanied by reverberant piano gestures underneath an ethereal violin drone. This material serves as a slow introduction to the main body of the movement, a lively scherzo-like section consisting of rhythmically shifting ostinati, equally shared between instruments. The second movement begins with an extended violin solo, creating motion and harmony on multiple strings through the use of double-stops. An interlude in the middle of the movement features the clarinet creating long, understated lines, gradually building with the other instruments, then fading away until we are left with the solo violin music from the opening of the movement. The third movement, marked "Propulsive, driving forward", is marked by constant motion and virtuoso turns for each instrument. Towards the end, the opening music from the first movement briefly returns in a new guise; with unrelenting motion.
-- Pierre Jalbert
© 2016 Pierre Jalbert, Clarinet Trio
Photo: Rehearsal at Wigmore Hall by Julia Jalbert