Trio for Piano and Strings No.2

on a purpose-selected tone row

Op.38

1. Allegro molto
2. Scherzo - Trio - Tempo I e un po 'pił veloce
3. Adagio Molto
4. Prestissimo alla variazioni

Date Duration Listen
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1 March 2013 31'38" Realization (.MP3) Score (.PDF)
44.3 MB 788 KB


The Prestissimo movement here is easily the most amorphous and purposeless thing I've ever written. Which is not to say it has no structure at all: since the entire trio had strictly-applied harmonic and melodic structures from its very inception; but the final movement acquired absolutely no original, distinguishing features during its composition. What do I mean by this? Each individual movement in any piece I write starts with a tentative exploration of the melodic potential in the first permutation of the given tone row - and generally within the first 30 seconds or so of the draft, some rhythmic and melodic patterns emerge that become recognizable elements helping determine the rest of the movement. In this case, no such patterns ever emerged: 30, 60, 90, 120 seconds of draft were written - and nothing ever struck me as significant. I started throwing in characteristic motives from the three earlier movements in a desperate attempt to impose some additional unity on the piece, but nothing stuck. Two-thirds of the way into the movement, I finally admitted the whole case was hopeless and the final result would be nothing but a series of a dozen variations on the tone row.

Not that there's anything wrong with that! I'm just sayin' ... it wasn't planned that way from the start.


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