Copyright © 2017-19 by Jordan Kuspa

piano trio

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Composed in 2009

Duration: 11:30

Instrumentation: violin, cello, piano

 

I. Precise

II. Fast and intense

III. Very slow and extremely free

IV. Very fast

 

My Piano Trio was commissioned by the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival with the aid of a John and Astrid Baumgardner Scholarship, which afforded me the great pleasure of going to Norfolk for a week and working with the fantastic trio who were to premiere the work.  Over the course of the week I worked closely with the musicians and Professor Joan Panetti to hone the work into its final shape.  The premiere was superb—one of the finest performances I’ve ever had—and the atmosphere of the crowded Music Shed was electric.  All in all, it was a fantastic week.

 

The work is in four short movements, each based on the same four-note cell: C, B, E-flat, D.  The first movement is a strict canon in which all of the pitch choices were carefully controlled by a predetermined pattern.  The rhythm, however, was composed freely.  The second movement is a wild scherzo that is punctuated by alternation between metric subdivisions of two and three.  The third movement is a lyrical miniature featuring the violin, while the final movement begins with rapid octatonic scales (the purest presentation of the work’s harmonic material), before taking an unexpected turn. . . .

 

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First Performance: Norfolk Chamber Music Festival, August 1st, 2009

The Music Shed, Norfolk, CT

Mikyung Kim, violin; Kevin Downs, cello; Hyun Ju Jang, piano

 

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Piano Trio was performed by the superb Ensemble SurPlus at the 2010 June in Buffalo Festival.  Allan Kozinn of the New York Times had these kind words to say about the piece:

 

"But of the eight works that Ensemble SurPlus offered, the most memorable was Jordan Kuspa’s Piano Trio. . . .

 

. . . his writing here was sharply focused, carefully shaped and attuned to coloristic possibilities of the piano, violin and cello. The resulting four-movement work, animated and melodically opulent, sounded consistently alive and inspired."

 

The full article can be found here.

 

Piano Trio won the 2010 League of Composers–ISCM Competition, and the 2014 Lake George Music Festival Composition Competition!

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Related Works:

Beneath the Magma

Collideoscope

Hat Trick

String Quartet No. 2