Judith Lang Zaimont: Piano Trio No.1

‘Russian Summer’

Context

Commissioned for the Tenth Anniversary of the Skaneateles Festival in 1989, Judith Lang Zaimont’s First Piano Trio is a gripping exploration of sound, timbre and texture. Often inspired by the laws of impressionism, Zaimont’s First Piano Trio displays her wonderful sense of style and nuanced writing. 

 

The Music

Nicknamed ‘Russian Summer’, Zaimont’s spellbinding style speaks for itself.

 

Movement I – Nocturne

The opening movement opens with a sensitive theme from the strings as the piano accompanies with a glistening theme. Zaimont’s handling of the content here is sensitive and it creates some very special moments of music. The hushed tones and use of mutes at times creates a dampened sound that ironically resonates within the ensemble. Growing into some larger moments where the dynamics are raised and tensions run high offer a new side of Zaimont’s style. Carefully developed and showcasing some effective sonorities, the opening movement is a fantastic opener for this trio.

 

Movement II – Romp

Opening gently with the piano and violin, Romp soon gets going when the cello joins in. The skittish nature of this movement is exciting and creates a controlled chaos feeling. Intricate ensemble work makes the music sparkle as Zaimont showcases intricate writing and an effective use of harmony. The trio are thrust into this fast tempo and paired with Zaimont’s cheeky melodic writing, creates such a fun atmosphere. A slow central section stops the trio in their tracks as the music reminisces to the Nocturne. For the final 2 minutes or so the trio slowly builds traction again until the final few bars explode with colour to conclude this unique trio. 

 

Ⓒ Alex Burns 

Happy Reading!

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You might also enjoy… Boris Tchaikovsky: Piano Trio in B minor

 

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