Friday 3 December, 2010  at 8pm

Music Room, St James Cavalier Centre for Creativity, Valletta (MALTA)

X – From Cowell to Cage will take you on a journey of American 20th century and contemporary compositions for this trio combination. The programme will open with Charles Ives’ Largo composed in 1901. Even with the recognisable name of Charles Ives, the Largo for Violin, Clarinet and Piano, is not often performed. Premiered in 1951, it is an unbending, miniature representation of many of Ives’ compositions. Dirge: 11.09.01 by Charles Camilleri, as the name implies, was borne out of the tragedy that occurred on 11 September 2001. In this work, the composer tries to capture the sounds and emotions engulfing him at that particular moment. The Sonata for Violin and Piano composed by Andrew Rudin in the Summer and Fall of 2000 seeks to present in its opening sections materials which are then developed extensively before being recapitulated to more or less inverted effect: that which was playful returns wistfully; what was amiable becomes fierce; what was aggressive becomes lyrical. Three Irish Legends for piano solo by Henry Cowell consist of The Tides of Manaunaun, Hero Sun and The Voice of Lir. Here Cowell uses tone clusters to portray specific programmatic features. Cowell retells these stories at the beginning of the score, providing fantastic imagery for the performer.

X by Scott McAllister is a work for clarinet and piano inspired by the ‘grunge’ style of music. The music of Nirvana and Alice and Chains was a particular influence on this piece. X is in three movements and uses resonance and non-traditional trills. Like the ‘grunge style’, this work, with its explosive driving sections and contrasting psychedelic passages, represents the energy and emotions of the ‘X’ generation. The Ukelele Serenade is the second of Aaron Copland’s Two Pieces for violin and piano, the first being a Nocturne. Although composed in 1928, well before his more famous works of the late ’30s and ’40s, shades of Copland’s later style can be detected in this work, especially his fascination with and appropriation of American “vernacular” and folk traditions like jazz, blues, and ragtime. As John Cage would almost certainly have agreed, the numbers don’t lie, and In a Landscape is surely his most accessible work. It was composed, together with his Suite for Toy Piano, at Black Mountain College, North Carolina in 1948.

The night comes to an end with Paul D. Sayre’s Trio. Trio was awarded first prize in the Washington and Lee National Chamber Music Competition, and was premiered by the well-known Julliard new music ensemble, “Continuum.”

Equinox Trio features pianist Tricia Dawn Williams, clarinettist Lino Pirotta and violinist Tatjana Chircop. These musicians are committed to contemporary music and have followed master classes on 20th century music.

Equinox recorded ‘Mouse in the Machine’ and ‘Constellations’ by Ruben Zahra released in 2009 on the CD entitled ‘Arabesque’. In September 2009, Equinox Trio was invited by the Embassy of Malta in France to give a recital of contemporary classical music at Le Musée des Invalides to commemorate the 45th Independence Anniversary in Paris. Their most recent performance featuring ‘Trios’ by Maltese composers was received with great acclaim: “… the gusts of melodic wind created by the clarinet, and the violin and those brilliant chordal piano passages made the evening one I will remember with pleasure for a long time.” … Sunday Times, 6 June 2010

This recital is being sponsored by the Embassy of The United States of America.

Tickets at €10 may be obtained from the St. James Cavalier booking office by calling on 2122 3200 or online at www.sjcav.org.



Tatjana Chircop – violin
Lino Pirotta – clarinet
Tricia Dawn Williams – piano




Largo by Charles Ives
Dirge: 11.09.01 by Charles Camilleri
Sonata for Violin & Piano by Andrew Rudin
Three Irish Legends by Henry Cowell
X by Scott McAllister
Ukelele Serenade by Aaron Copland
In a Landscape by John Cage
Trio by Paul D. Sayre