Three for Trio (1990) by Eric Sawyer
for violin, cello, and piano

Three for Trio was composed in 1990 for members of the New York Youth Symphony. It was conceived as three contrasing pieces which, however, grew together through shared material. The planning of three movements for three players engendered some games with the number three; the first movement, in 9/8 meter (three times three), features a cello figure in triplets and opens with three phrases of seven bars, each concluding with a bar of solo for one of the instruments. A subsequent loud tutti culminates in triplets of three different speeds. The second movement opens as a dialogue between the strings in inverted canon — characteristic rising and falling sevenths answer each other. The concluding movement alternates bars of three and four; within a seven-beat circular rhythmic idea can be found the cello figure from the first movement, with more sustained string melody developing above.

— E. S.    

[from program for October 4, 1993 concert]