Trio for piano, violin, and violoncello

I. Semplice, Inesorabile
II. Leggiermente, con accenti diversi (Cat's Cradle)
III. Parlando, Affetuoso
IV. Ardente, Sperduto

Martin Bresnick's Trio is four movements, each with a suggestive title reflecting the spirit of the movement. The first movement "Semplice, Inesorabile" translates as Simply, Inexorably. The second movement, subtitled "Cat's Cradle," makes reference to the children's game in which the players pull symmetrical string patterns from each other's hands - a kind of folk calculus. "Leggiermente con Accenti Diversi" refers to the lightness of the movement as well as it's varied accentual patterns. The third movement, "Parlando, Affetuoso," Spoken, Tenderly, ends with a piano cadenza that leads without pause into the fourth movement. In this final movement, marked "Ardente, Sperduto," Ardently, Lost, aspects of the first three movements, now transformed, are recalled as the composition moves towards an ambiguous conclusion.

Trio was commissioned by and is dedicated to the Monticello Trio - Tannis Gibson, piano; Mark Rush, violin; and Mathias Wexler, violoncello.

Recorded by CRI CD583 The Monticello Trio

Observations and commentary on the First movement of Martin Bresnick’s Piano Trio, by Justin Tierney (pdf)