Piano Trio #1
For Piano, Violin and Cello (1975)
by Ron Hannah


Duration: about 12 minutes

     A challenging work for good players, this represents an homage to various well-known composers. Each movement attempts to suggest one or more of them. The first was inspired by the String Octet, Op. 11 by Shostakovich, one of those pieces that left me breathless on first hearing. My first movement, by the way, has been described as "deliciously macabre" by one of the performers. That was not my intention, but I am pleased nonetheless.

     Then follows a very slow movement featuring non-retrogradable rhythms (Messaien) and harmonies suggestive of Ives (it is, in fact, a modified 12-tone piece, with each instrument playing only 4 of the chromatic tones in various rhythms and octaves). The third movement is a spectacular romp in 11/8 time which hopefully brings to mind Bartok. Clicking on the "Hear" buttons below will enable you to listen to each one.

     The last movement is interesting in another way as well. If you go to my Devil's Dance, for Violin and Piano, you will read about its feverish birth as part of an early Sonatina, and how it found its way into this trio (a good read).

     Piano Trio #1 has been performed several times, and the score can be downloaded by clicking below. Send me an email and I'll send you the parts too, with the strict stipulation that you inform me of any performances so that I can keep this website up-to-date. Oh, and do check out my Piano Trio #2 as well!. Score and parts to both may also be obtained through the Canadian Music Centre.