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Leon Kirchner

Publisher: AMP

Trio II (1993)
Associated Music Publishers Inc
Works for 2-6 Players
Sub Category
Piano Trio
Year Composed
15 Minutes

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Programme Note
Leon Kirchner Trio II (1993)
Composer Note:

Were it not for Jaime, I might not have written a second Piano Trio. But he was persistent, and Sharon and Yossi (all three had performed my first Trio with great devotion and brilliance) added to the need.

I find it difficult to "write about" my own music, to equate life's experience with "creation," but truly, one cannot separate the flow of reality from the world of illusion and creativity. Working late one evening, I subconsciously reviewed the course that music had taken in the last several decades: from post-12-tone "serialism" to uncertainty principles, from comedy to minimalism, and on to the new romanticismus (sic), from formidable titles to invisible content and so on…all the while feeling and hearing the gradual disintegration of "Gestalt" so important to Schoenberg (Stravinsky and Bartok and all the others); "form-building" Schoenberg called it, that most vital and characteristic aspect of musical art in the Viennese Classic and before, that which gave music the possibility of endless revelation in performance.

And so I mused as I worked on my Music for Cello and Orchestra, the frame from which Trio No. II drew inspiration. It happened that toward the ending of this work, a Bachian chorale "appeared," a haunting and retrospective moment (in my mind), which moved in a dream-like way through Wagnerian and Mahlerian space, a kind of recapitulation, not only of thematic and structural needs the work engendered, but of that crucial time in our history in which some subterranean source had been blocked, leading us more and more to rapidly shifting styles and the "overweaning influence of chic," to the exclusion, ultimately, of feeling and "Gestalt"…and so my music seemed to recapitulate the past in an effort to empower an alternative future…my fantasy of course.

However, if words could explain or justify music then I shouldn't have had to write a Trio I or II. But words cannot; they are a single simple parameter of understanding among an infinite variety in a multiple and complex and still mysterious art. So take it so…peripheral verbiage…by the composer.

— Leon Kirchner

Sample Pages

  • Ensemble
    Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio
    Sharon Robinson (Cello), Jaime Laredo (Violin), Joseph Kalichstein (Piano)
  • Ensemble
    Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio
    Albany Records:
  • 13 NOV 2010
    All Souls Unitarian Universalist Church, Kansas City
    New Ear

...the trio gave an incisive account of a work composed for it, Leon Kirchner's Trio No. 2. The piece's strength lies in its structural clarity and the symmetry with which the three instruments are treated, and these players made the most of its constantly shifting internal dialogues and the sense of urgency that gradually but inexorably becomes its driving force.
Allan Kozinn, The New York Times,17/04/2007
The Trio is...built on the notion of an emotionally shifting give and take, [with a] vastly more expansive canvas.
Allan Kozinn, The New York Times,23/02/1999
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