for violin, viola, and cello
String Trio is a free fantasy, continuous throughout, but composed of shuffled fragments that recall classical forms—Sonata allegro, Scherzo, Lento, Rondo finale. The three instruments sometimes combine to form a single voice (as happens at the beginning and near the end) and sometimes diverge to create a polyphonic texture. A similar opposition guides the rhythm: sections that suggest a flexible rubato contrast with those driven by a steady pulse.
String Trio was written for the Athabasca Trio—Jane Chung (violin), Tawnya Popoff (viola), and Caroline Stinson (cello)—an ensemble dedicated to commissioning and performing new works for their medium. The group's excellent playing and enthusiastic interest in collaboration was the inspiration for this piece, which is gratefully dedicated to them.
premiere: October 13, 2007, Friends & Enemies of New Music, Tenri Cultural Institute, 43A W. 13th Street, New York, The Athabasca Trio