Germinate

violin, cello, piano and orchestra
2018

Duration 18’30
Instrumentation 2(picc.)22(Bs.cl.)2, 2200, timpani, strings (5.4.3.3.2)
First Performance 4 May 2019, St Teresa’s, Effingham, UK; Sitkovetsky Trio, The Philharmonia, Pierre-André Valade (conductor)
Commissioned by the Investec International Music Festival in the Surrey Hills for the Sitkovetsky Trio in celebration of the 10th Anniversary of the Festival.

Preview/Buy Score & Parts

Tiny kernels of Beethoven’s Triple Concerto were taken as inspiration for each movement of Germinate, a new work for piano trio and orchestra. The fragments are developed and extended, taking on their own life and character. Having started at the forefront of the compositional process, embedded into the piece they become indiscernible. If noticed at all they will be brief reminiscences of the Beethoven.

Exploring the combination of instruments was also at the forefront of the compositional process; the ensemble, the trio and the three soloists all commanding attention. How these voices interact, alternate and overlap drives the music in various directions. An energetic opening movement sees the stage as one entity, with sparky chords and scalic passage-work. The softly spoken second movement focuses on the trio alone as a unit. The ensemble and solo piano float gracefully between the trio solo sections, which have an almost chamber-music like feel. Lively string pizzicatos begin the third movement, vibrantly joined by the soloists in turn. Violin and cello each have a solo section followed by a return to the opening material, this time principally in the winds and piano. A fast finale features a development of the low oscillating rumble that I adore in the Rondo of the Beethoven. Dark and explosive, it hurtles away to the end.