The Trio for Clarinet, Cello and Piano was started in late 1991, and finished in early 1992. Originally requested as a companion piece to the Brahms trio for the same combination, it was eventually performed and recorded in 1998 by eminent Dutch musicians Hein Wiedijk (clarinet), Daniel Esser (cello) and Frank van de Laar (piano) for Gutman Records. The work is dedicated to the composer’s longtime friend and influential mentor, the Dutch composer Jochem Slothouwer (1938-2009).
From an early age on, Huydts was interested in extended tonality and chromaticism and devoured the masterworks of the late 19th and early 20th century. While fascinated by the incredible harmonic variety and freedom of the early atonal period Huydts felt most attracted to those composers who loosely kept tonality in the background as an organizing force (in particular Prokofiev and Bartok). The trio is the first work in which he consciously chose a home key (E) as its tonal center. Its two movements feature passages that offer ample harmonic modulation, sometimes sudden, sometimes subtle; spicy chords, often combined with propulsive motoric elements, which alternate with passages of tranquility that harmonically move at a much slower pace and allow the listener to savor the flavor. The opening measures function as a basic musical idea out of which virtually everything else develops. The first movement is rhapsodic, loosely based on sonata form; the second movement is dance like, and is loosely based on rondo form. The overall character is best described as unsettled but serious. Even in its more lyrical moments an underlying sense of restless darkness permeates the work.
Duration: approx. 20 minutes
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