Broadheath Music

Contemporary Classical Music by Frank Wilhoit

Trio in E major for Clarinet, Violin and Piano, Op. 5 (1978)

This Trio is influenced by the music of Max Reger, and attempts to distill the aspects of his style that most appeal to me: an oblique approach to tonality, long-breathed developing melodies and a variety of dance-like rhythms. One aspect that does not channel Reger is the extreme concision of the writing.

The first three movements are all in 6/8 time: respectively a slow two, a fast two, and a slow six. The first movement does not clearly touch its home key until two-thirds of the way through. The second movement is a mercurial scherzo in G minor, with a confident swinging tune in D-flat in its middle section. The third movement is in C major, but the clarinet and violin continually explore the uttermost boundaries of the key, while the left hand of the piano part keeps them from getting entirely lost.

The finale is a brisk double fugue in sonata form.

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