Piano Trio (2014) by Reynold Tharp
for violin, cello, and piano
World premiere; Earplay commission

My Piano Trio was written from December 2013 to March 2014 for Earplay. As in several other recent pieces of mine, the overall shape and flow of the piece is hopefully clearly articulated within a continuous single movement. Unlike my other music, however, which typically bears programmatic or poetic titles, in this instance I fell back on a simple generic title. Nevertheless, the trio still relies on the narrative and dramatic impulses that drive all my music, and evocative or atmospheric qualities (to me, at least) are hardly absent. In particular, I imagined the slowly changing scales of the opening, with their uneasy rhythmic fluidity, as the slow surging of ocean tides. These waves return in different incarnations across the thirteen-minute span of the piece, and are also gradually transformed into contrasting ideas -- one faster and more rhythmically driven, one playful with its bouncing echoes, and a last one more darkly lyrical.

— R. T.    

[from program for May 19, 2014 concert]