• Kenneth Leighton
  • Piano Trio (1965)

  • Novello & Co Ltd (World)
  • vn.vc.pf
  • 21 min

Programme Note

Piano Trio, Op. 46

1. Allegro con Moto
2. Scherzo
3. Hymn

This work was composed during 1965, and in the same year it won the Bernhard Sprengel Prize for Chamber Music in Hanover from an entry of over seventy works. The first performance was given in Milan by the Trio di Trieste, who have performed the Trio many times in various continental centres.

The music is perhaps more directly tonal, more lyrical and lean in texture than preceding works, and the design is quite straightforward.

The first movement has three main subjects all inter-related; a first tune, lyrical and restrained, a second more agitated section, and a third paragraph again lyrical which expands into an extended middle section. The melodic material is constantly transformed, but a kind of recapitulation comes at the climax of the middle section, and the movement ends with a quiet new version of the first section.

The Scherzo has two distinct themes - also derived from the first movement - and a Trio section which particularly highlights the contrast between piano and string sonorities.

The final Hymn follows without a break and starts with a kind of chorale melody punctuated by the first movement's motto on strings. This motto is built up into a central contrapuntal paragraph, and this continues against the return of the chorale melody on the piano - first in D flat major and then in D major again.

© Kenneth Leighton

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