Chamber | 2013

Piano Trio


Year: 2013

Duration: 14' 30''

Instrumentation: vn/vc/pf

Program Notes

Piano Trio    Programme note   John Buckley

1) Shadows and Echoes

2) Kaleidoscope

3) Music Box

The Piano Trio was composed in 2013 for the Fidelio Trio, to whom it is dedicated and who gave the first performance in St Patrick’s College, Drumcondra in November of that year. The piece is in three movements, each of which draws its title and imagery from mechanical devices, both visual and aural.

The first movement, ‘Shadows and Echoes’ was suggested by the flickering images of pre-film animation devices such as the zoetrope. Throughout the movement, dramatic gestures dissolve into shadowy whispers.

The second movement is based on a short motif, played on the piano at the outset. This material is then subjected to a series of transformations such as transposition and inversion. The result is a musical equivalent of the shifting visual patterns in a kaleidoscope.

Mechanical music boxes are both magical and surreal at the same time. In the final movement of the Piano Trio it is discovered that the figures in the music box have deep and turbulent emotional lives, but only while the music plays. The movement ends as the music box winds down.

The composer is grateful to The Arts Council for its financial assistance in the composition of the trio.



World premiere performance of ‘Piano Trio’ by John Buckley, commissioned by The Fidelio Trio with funds from the Arts Council of Ireland, as part of The Fidelio Trio’s Winter Chamber Music Festival in Belvedere House, 1–3 November 2013