That Crazed Smile

piano trio

Duration 5’
Instrumentation violin, cello, piano
First Performance 20 October 2015, Landshut, Rathausprunksaal, Germany; The Oberon Trio: Henja Semmler (violin), Antoaneta Emanuilova (cello), and Jonathan Aner  (piano)
Commissioned by the Oberon Piano Trio
Recording Oberon Trio – Oberon Celebrates Shakespeare
Further Performances
11.11.15  Raanana, Israel, The Oberon Piano Trio
12.11.15  YMCA Jerusalem, Israel, The Oberon Piano Trio
26.11.15 Piano Salon Christophori, Berlin, Germany The Oberon Piano Trio
27.11.15  The University of Manchester, UK; Vaganza Ensemble *UK Premiere*
14.08.16 BBC Proms Extra, Royal College of Art, London; The Albany Piano Trio
11.03.16  Bamberg, Konzert- und Kongresshalle – Joseph-Keilberth-Saal, Germany; The Oberon Piano Trio
21.09.16 Philharmonie Kiew, Ukraine; The Oberon Piano Trio
23.09.16 Opernhaus Charkiw, Ukraine; The Oberon Piano Trio
25.09.16 Philharmonie Sapo, Ukraine; The Oberon Piano Trio
27.09.16 Philharmonie Dnipro, Ukraine; The Oberon Piano Trio
13.10.16 Gießen, Konzertsaal im Rathaus, Germany; The Oberon Piano Trio
21.10.16 Stratford Upon Avon Music Festival; The Contemporary Consort
17.11.16 Borstel, Herrenhaus Borstel, Germany; The Oberon Piano Trio
4.12.16 Aberystwyth, UK; The Del Mar Piano Trio
19.05.17 St Barnabas Church, Ealing UK; Del Mar Piano Trio
20.06.17 Aldeburgh Festival, Snape Malting, UK; Trio Frühstück
24.08.17 Southwell Music Festival: The State Chamber, The Archbishop’s Palace, Southwell Minster, Nottinghamshire, UK; Sara Wolstenholme violin, Nathaniel Boyd cello, Libby Burgess piano
26.10.17 Resonanzraum St. Pauli, Hamburg; Boulanger Trio
29.10.17 Radialsystem V, Berlin; Boulanger Trio

Commissioned by the Oberon Trio, That Crazed Smile is inspired by Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The work is a Fantasy piece set within a dream-like world. Interestingly, in the play the fairies are a reality however, in contrast to Romeo and Juliet, for example, where it is believed (particularly by Mercutio) that fairies visit people’s dreams.

Set at night under the light of the moon, the piece moves through a dreamy section before reaching the gripping spellbound part of the piece, where it is as if the fairies are deviously casting spells onto the lovers in their dreams. Tightly controlled, the music continuously varies small motifs and melodies, spinning around on itself. The foolishness and self delusion of the lovers can be felt.

This work forms part of an ongoing cycle of Shakespeare-inspired works that the composer is writing for piano trio. The first piece composed, entitled Those Secret Eyes, is loosely inspired by Shakespeare’s Macbeth. The plays chosen to inspire the works link by theme: dream verses reality, and night and day- problems arise in the day and are relieved at night through dream. The pieces may be performed as a set or individually.