Dennis Kam

Trio for Violin, Cello and Piano

1985   |   c. 13 min

Trio for violin, violoncello, and piano (1985)

Trio(1985) for violin, cello, and piano was commissioned and premiered by Trio Brasiliero at University of Miami’s Festival Miami in 1985. It integrates several elements that were of special interest to me during the ‘70s and’ 80s: neo-tonality; simple and direct musical statements; calculated redundancy; process as form; levels of perceptibility interacting with traditional formal structures in multi- movement works of the past. Thus, traditional sonata-allegro, simple ternary and rondo structures were models for each of the three movements but altered and dealt with in the abstract to suit contemporary exploration/experimentation. Every movement may be characterized by some kind of dialogue or interaction between instruments. In the first movement, all instruments contribute to common musical gestures. However, differentiated material from each instrument emerges between gestures. In contrast, each instrument has differentiated and solo material in the second movement: chorale (piano), recitative (violin), color (cello). The rondo- like third movement is an energetic exchange of shared and contrasting material between instruments.


Premiere: 1985, Miami Festival, Trio Brasiliero

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Dennis Kam