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Clarinet Trio

Instrumentation: piano, clarinet, cello
Duration: 12:30
Year Composed: 2006
  1. Intense and tormented - Allegro agitato
  2. Andante cantabile - Allegretto - Andante

Audio Samples

I. Allegro (middle)

II. Andante (opening)

Program Notes

A trio for clarinet, cello and piano, the two-movement structure etches an arc from tension and anxiety to calm and serenity. The first movement begins with a brief unmeasured introduction, Free but explosive, in which the clarinet, starting on A-flat, introduces the movement's basic harmonic material, the augmented major-seventh, punctuated by piano chords. The next section, marked Intense and tormented, presents the principal motivic material, descending chromatic lines separated by a leap of a major seventh. This motif is explored in several increasingly agitated waves of development that lead to a central Allegro agitato in which the accumulated tension explodes. The second movement, Andante cantabile, begins with a free canon in the clarinet, and starting on G-sharp, the first movement's tonic enharmonically respelled. The second movement mirrors the first in contour—it picks up in tempo and activity before receding—but, like a soft echo, in a much calmer vein. Its rich contrapuntal unfolding and its more diatonic-leaning harmonies offer relief from the angularity and dissonance of the first movement. The piece ends on an E-major chord, with the G-sharp in the clarinet and in the same register as the very opening note of the piece.


  • Aug 28, 2010—CBC Radio 2 broadcast on "The Signal" (Laurie Brown)
  • Mar 12, 2010—CBC Radio 2 broadcast on "The Signal" (Laurie Brown)
  • Feb 6, 2010—David Palmer, Trevor Pittman, Andrea Yun
    Windsor Canadian Music Festival (Armouries, Windsor, ON)
  • Nov 22, 2008—Peter Longworth, Lydia Munchinsky, Peter Stoll
    Robert Rival Doctoral Recital, U of T
  • Feb 3, 2007—Sarah Steeves, Peter Stoll, Zhenya Yesmanovich
    U of T New Music Festival (Walter Hall, Toronto)
  • Jul 31, 2006—Julian Armour, Ross Edwards, Peter Longworth
    Ottawa International Chamber Music Festival


Score Perusal & Parts

For score perusal and parts information, contact Robert Rival.