Next Sunday I will be attending the Piano Trio Society's annual workshop day, where young and aspiring student Trios receive expert coaching from professional Trios. As part of the day, I will be giving an interview on writing for Piano Trio. The fabulous Bedriska Trio recorded my Trio last year, and they will give its first public performance on 26th November at the Gloucester Music Society's concert series.
The Piano Trio is, when you think about it, a slightly unusual ensemble. It is unlike the string quartet, where the family connection allows the instruments to naturally blend together. The piano is potentially an overpowering partner to the two string instruments, but its presence allows for a richness of texture and infinite harmonic palette. In my Trio, the piano's ability to provide huge washes of sound (by playing arpeggios whilst depressing the sustain pedal) is exploited, as is its ability to accompany and present material on its own. The two string instruments need to have sturdy material of their own to stand up to the might of the piano. It's an endlessly fascinating medium for all these reasons (not to mention its rich heritage) and I'm sure I will write another one at some point.