• Leon Kirchner
  • Trio II (1993)

  • Associated Music Publishers Inc (World)
  • vn, vc, pf
  • 15 min

Programme Note

Composer Note:

Were it not for Jaime, I might not have written a second Piano Trio. But he was persistent, and Sharon and Yossi (all three had performed my first Trio with great devotion and brilliance) added to the need.

I find it difficult to "write about" my own music, to equate life's experience with "creation," but truly, one cannot separate the flow of reality from the world of illusion and creativity. Working late one evening, I subconsciously reviewed the course that music had taken in the last several decades: from post-12-tone "serialism" to uncertainty principles, from comedy to minimalism, and on to the new romanticismus (sic), from formidable titles to invisible content and so on…all the while feeling and hearing the gradual disintegration of "Gestalt" so important to Schoenberg (Stravinsky and Bartok and all the others); "form-building" Schoenberg called it, that most vital and characteristic aspect of musical art in the Viennese Classic and before, that which gave music the possibility of endless revelation in performance.

And so I mused as I worked on my Music for Cello and Orchestra, the frame from which Trio No. II drew inspiration. It happened that toward the ending of this work, a Bachian chorale "appeared," a haunting and retrospective moment (in my mind), which moved in a dream-like way through Wagnerian and Mahlerian space, a kind of recapitulation, not only of thematic and structural needs the work engendered, but of that crucial time in our history in which some subterranean source had been blocked, leading us more and more to rapidly shifting styles and the "overweaning influence of chic," to the exclusion, ultimately, of feeling and "Gestalt"…and so my music seemed to recapitulate the past in an effort to empower an alternative future…my fantasy of course.

However, if words could explain or justify music then I shouldn't have had to write a Trio I or II. But words cannot; they are a single simple parameter of understanding among an infinite variety in a multiple and complex and still mysterious art. So take it so…peripheral verbiage…by the composer.

— Leon Kirchner