List of Works
Audio Samples
Email: info@robertrival.com
Subscribe to quarterly newsletter:


String Trio

Instrumentation: violin, viola, cello
Duration: 8:00
Year Composed: 2003

Audio Samples

Program Notes

Trio is an 8-minute work is a rapidly evolving conversation among three members of the string family (violin, viola and cello) around five short contrasting motifs. From the harmonically abrasive and dramatic opening that features an aggressive motif in the cello accompanied by harsh pizzicato chords, to the soaring melancholic lyricism in the middle section in which a fluid motif is passed seamlessly from instrument to instrument, Trio draws on a wide variety of string technique to alternately evoke stark, violent, expressive, mysterious and contemplative landscapes. The conversation is on two occasions freed from the constraints of strict time—a rubato cadenza-like line engages a frenetic and repetitive underlying dialogue—that produces a particularly eerie effect when the violin's high harmonics are juxtaposed with the low strings playing sul ponticello.


  • Jan 20, 2006—Mohsin Bhujwalla, Hannah Kim, Sharon Lee
    U of T New Music Festival (Walter Hall, Toronto)
  • Mar 11, 2005—Paula Cho, Eric Jacobson, Claudia Schaer
    Francophonie New York 2005 Festival (New York, NY)
  • Aug 3, 2004—Denise Djokic, Renée-Paule Gauthier, Steve Larson
    Ottawa International Chamber Music Festival
  • Jan 27, 2004—Pemi Paull, Amanda Keesmaat, Rachel Moody
    Zeke's Gallery (Montreal)


"Rival's trio was stressed and nervous, not really very pleasant, but well crafted and, in its own way, quite effective. The string writing is excellent and the work is entirely coherent, at least for those who can handle the emotional message. It is basically a tonal work, though it hardly wears its tonality on its sleeve."
—Richard Todd (Ottawa Citizen)

Score Perusal & Parts

For score perusal and parts information, contact Robert Rival.