Trio for Flute, Violin, and Cello No. 2
Composed in 2019, this work is a sequel to the popular Trio No. 1. It was commissioned by a consortium with 80% of the proceeds being dedicated to a small scholarship. Like the first trio, this 15 minute work uses a tonal style reminiscent of traditional American music. Its three movements are titled:
I. Conversation (Allegretto non troppo)
II. The Dance (Molto Allegro Vivace)
III. Eulogy (Molto Adagio - Andante)
The first movement begins abruptly--almost mid-thought--with a droll phrase consisting of a rhythmic head and a winding, syncopated tail. The dialogue develops as the other voices respond, comment, and occasionally (though unsuccessfully) try to change the topic. This short movement finishes with a strong, declamatory gesture that is attacca to the second movement.
The second movement is in a Dance style, though more developmental in nature, opening with a pair of repeated phrases that progressively transform rhythmically, contrapuntally, in canon, and harmonically. In the middle of the movement, material from the first movement reappears in a stormy mood, suggesting that the second movement may be only the second theme of a much larger sonata form. This suggestion is denied, however, when the movement terminates with a misterioso restatement of the opening material.
The third movement pairs an expansive "american" theme with a transparent, reflective opening statement reminiscent of slow movement of Beethoven's 9th symphony. The theme is first presented by an unaccompanied cello, and then developed by each instrument thereafter. The work culminates in an apotheosis of this simple theme in a highly ornamented, virtuosic variation, and then terminates with a melancholy, fatalistic restatement of the opening material.