Repertoire Search

Judith Weir

Publisher: Chester Music

Piano Trio Two (2004),
Spitalfields Festival
Chester Music Ltd
Small Ensemble (2-6 players)
Year Composed
15 Minutes
Buy this work
Worldwide Sales   North American Sales

Programme Note
Judith Weir Piano Trio Two (2004),

1.How Grass and Trees Become Enlightened
2.Your Light may go Out
3.Open your own Treasure House

The three movement titles of this Piano Trio are taken from a collection of Zen stories; very short anecdotes which resonate in the memory but do not reveal their secrets easily.

'How Grass and Trees become Enlightened' presents a series of extreme contrasts between high and low, loud and soft. The musical material is one of my own original songs, written to an African text, which in this version has started to sprout energetic vegetation.

In 'Your Light may go Out', the violin and cello, very closely intertwined, begin by presenting a dark musical line imprinted with the ghostly image of an English folk tune. The piano, playing chords, adds ever-increasing illumination to the music, until the end, where darkness and brightness meet.

'Open Your own Treasure House' is a joyous dance, built on a scale pattern of my own invention; an imaginary raga, perhaps.

Piano Trio was commissioned for the 2004 Spitalfields Festival by George Law, in celebration of his 75th birthday. It was first performed by the Florestan Trio.

Sample Pages

Anyone who has heard one of her operas will remember how the simplest melodic shape can take on huge expressive responsibility, and in Piano Trio Two, the ghosts of different folk musics flit through textures that are illuminated from all kinds of unexpected angles, revealing landscapes that are compellingly strange.
Andrew Clements, The Guardian,04/04/2006
…its three tightly compressed movements suggested by Zen stories and abruptly juxtaposed sharply contrasted gestures and textures drawn from a variety of world musics. As often in Weir, the continuity behind the brightly faceted surface is quite challenging to follow. But that is why she always repays repeated listening.
Bayan Northcott, The Independent,03/04/2006
'How Grass and Tress Become Enlightened' gleefully decorates a song of the composer's own with her familiar, subtly shifting metric patterns, rhythmic unisons and glacial harmonies... 'Your light may go out' has a pungently lyrical string melody inflected with quartertones…The final movement, 'Open Your Own Treasure House', steers vivaciously close to a number of different musical styles, including that of Janacek. Yet, as almost always with Weir, she manages to make everything sound uncannily her own. The final crash of the closing piano keyboard lid announces another abrupt movement ending to this most engaging addition to the piano trio repetoire.
Keith Potter, Independent,21/06/2004
'Judith Weir's Piano Trio Two conceals, beneath its austere, generic title, music of real mystery and richness. The Florestan Trio…revelled in Weir's quirky fantasy and mercurial imagination…The opening movement, How Grass and Trees Become Enlightened, was a game of musical contrasts, as the juxtaposition between the a forceful major chord and languid piano line at the start of the piece propelled the music on a vivid, unpredictable journey.'
Tom Service, Guardian,14/06/2004
'From the first notes of Judith Weir's specially commissioned Piano Trio Two…one knew that a finely poised discourse would ensue, and so it did. Three lean, plian movements, each with a little from a zen anecdote and cast in Weir's idiom of transparency and transfigured folkishness, ranged discretely across the possibilities of the medium. Most striking was the middle movement, Your Light May Go Out, in which a tenebrous (quarter-tonal) string duo and an incandescent piano part are united halfway through. The symmetrical overall structure moves with witty concision to its appointed end, a slam of the keyboard lid.'
Paul Driver, Sunday Times,13/06/2004
Close X

Newsletter Signup

Enter your email address to keep up to date with the latest news and special offers from Wise Music Classical.
Your data is secure and you can unsubscribe at any time. Read our Privacy Policy

Click here to receive regular news
© Copyright 2020 Wise Music Classical. Part of Wise Music Group.