Victor Frost

About this work:

Diptych for string trio, op. 27

I have lately made a project of word processing the program notes for early works from my pen. (Notes written, that is to say, well before word processing was generally available.) I have done some light editing along the way, but in the present case I feel constrained simply to write fresh ones.

The trio was written in my apartment in Weehawken, New Jersey early in the fall of 1980. Its original title was simply Two Pieces for string trio, but I have changed it now to one which emphasizes the manifest connection (or "hinge") between the two numbers. The original notes go into great detail enumerating the many derivations in the second number (a very fast valse brillante) of material from the first one (a very slow and stately pavane). The waltz has a metronome marking almost eight times as fast as the pavane, which means that the listener can only be expected to appreciate these connections subliminally. But I have not suppressed the original notes because they are long and boring (which they are), not because they're exhausting but rather because they are not exhaustive enough! I discern now other connections (regarding dynamic grading and even the choice of chord inversions) which I was not conscious of before. For the record, let me mention the two easiest derivations, possibly, to pick out: the opening of the valse grows out of the 'cello solo in the pavane, while the coda to the valse issues from an episode, arresting because it involves accents and does not otherwise return, toward the middle of the pavane. In fact, I have determined that there is really nothing in the right-hand panel that does not connect in some wise across the hinge with the first panel we take in.

Diptych keeps its dedication of course to my friend, the Bruckner scholar Paul Nudelman.

Victor Frost
16 III 96
New York City

Version: for string trio
Year composed: 1980
Duration: 00:07:00
Ensemble type: Chamber or Jazz Ensemble, Without Voice:String Trio
Instrumentation: 1 Violin, 1 Viola, 1 Cello

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