Trios & Sonatinas

Chamber Works for Piano, Strings, and Horn

Richard E Brown composer

Release Date: March 24, 2023
Catalog #: NV6511
Format: Digital
21st Century
Chamber
Piano
Piano Trio
Viola

If there is one thing that is important to Richard E Brown, it’s clarity; it would be impossible to listen to any of his compositions without finding one’s emotions immediately and intuitively seized, no explanations necessary. Brown’s music is at once neoclassical and aesthetic, and his selection of TRIOS & SONATINAS makes for a perfect introduction.

Aforementioned clarity is also the secret ingredient which allows Brown to breezily and naturally unite polar opposites: the Western classical piano trio with Korean folk themes, the simple sonatina form with musical complexity, and the frail violin and resounding horn as equals in another trio. Simplicity is supposedly the ultimate form of sophistication, and TRIOS & SONATINAS makes a strong point indeed.

Listen

Hear the full album on YouTube

Track Listing & Credits

# Title Composer Performer
01 Trio no. 1 (Koreana): I. Chaconne (Andante con moto; Meno mosso) Richard E Brown Trio Casals | Alexandr “Sasha” Kislitsyn, violin; Ovidiu Marinescu, cello; Anna Kislitsyna, piano 4:58
02 Trio no. 1 (Koreana): II. Scherzo (Allegro agitato) Richard E Brown Trio Casals | Alexandr “Sasha” Kislitsyn, violin; Ovidiu Marinescu, cello; Anna Kislitsyna, piano 2:58
03 Trio no. 1 (Koreana): III. Fugue (Vivace con spirito) Richard E Brown Trio Casals | Alexandr “Sasha” Kislitsyn, violin; Ovidiu Marinescu, cello; Anna Kislitsyna, piano 2:16
04 Sonatina for Viola and Piano: I. Allegro moderato Richard E Brown Peter Sulski, viola; Randall Hodgkinson, piano 3:27
05 Sonatina for Viola and Piano: II. Andante Richard E Brown Peter Sulski, viola; Randall Hodgkinson, piano 2:02
06 Sonatina for Viola and Piano: III. Vivace Richard E Brown Peter Sulski, viola; Randall Hodgkinson, piano 2:23
07 Trio for Violin, Horn, and Piano: I. Adagio; Allegro moderato Richard E Brown Juventas New Music Ensemble | Anne Howarth, horn; Ryan Shannon, violin; Julia Scott Carey, piano 5:43
08 Trio for Violin, Horn, and Piano: II. Andante doloroso Richard E Brown Juventas New Music Ensemble | Anne Howarth, horn; Ryan Shannon, violin; Julia Scott Carey, piano 4:10
09 Trio for Violin, Horn, and Piano: III. Allegro con spirito Richard E Brown Juventas New Music Ensemble | Anne Howarth, horn; Ryan Shannon, violin; Julia Scott Carey, piano 3:42
10 Sonatina for Cello and Piano: I. Allegro moderato Richard E Brown Ovidiu Marinescu, cello; Anna Kislitsyna, piano 3:10
11 Sonatina for Cello and Piano: II. Andante con moto Richard E Brown Ovidiu Marinescu, cello; Anna Kislitsyna, piano 3:15
12 Sonatina for Cello and Piano: III. Allegro Richard E Brown Ovidiu Marinescu, cello; Anna Kislitsyna, piano 2:22
13 Trio no. 2 (Pastoral): I. Lento; Moderato Richard E Brown Trio Casals | Alexandr “Sasha” Kislitsyn, violin; Ovidiu Marinescu, cello; Anna Kislitsyna, piano 5:00
14 Trio no. 2 (Pastoral): II. Animato; Tranquillo; Tempo I Richard E Brown Trio Casals | Alexandr “Sasha” Kislitsyn, violin; Ovidiu Marinescu, cello; Anna Kislitsyna, piano 3:27
15 Trio no. 2 (Pastoral): III. Adagio; Lento Richard E Brown Trio Casals | Alexandr “Sasha” Kislitsyn, violin; Ovidiu Marinescu, cello; Anna Kislitsyna, piano 2:55

Trio no. 1 (Koreana), Sonatina for Viola and Piano, Trio no. 2 (Pastoral)
Recorded February 27-28 & October 28, 2021 at Shalin Liu Performance Center in Rockport MA
Producer, Editing & Mixing Brad Michel
Engineer Tom Stephenson

Trio for Violin, Horn, and Piano
Recorded February 16, 2022 at Shalin Liu Performance Center in Rockport MA
Producer Brad Michel
Engineer Tom Stephenson
Editing & Mixing Lucas Paquette

Sonatina for Cello and Piano
Recorded June 2, 2022 at Madeleine Wing Adler Theatre, West Chester University in West Chester PA
Producer & Engineer Brad Michel
Editing Ethan Fields
Additional Editing Melanie Montgomery, Lucas Paquette

Mastering Melanie Montgomery

Executive Producer Bob Lord

A&R Director Brandon MacNeil
A&R Danielle Sullivan

VP of Production Jan Košulič
Production Director Levi Brown
Audio Director Lucas Paquette
Production Assistant Martina Watzková

VP, Design & Marketing Brett Picknell
Art Director Ryan Harrison
Design Edward A. Fleming, Morgan Hauber
Publicity Patrick Niland

Artist Information

Richard E Brown

Richard E Brown

Composer

Richard E. Brown, a native of New York State and has been active as a composer-arranger and music educator for many years. His training includes M.M. and D.M. degrees in composition from Florida State University, as well as a B.A. in music education from Central College, which named him a Distinguished Alumnus in 1983. His principal composition studies were with Carlisle Floyd, John Boda, and Charles Carter.

Trio Casals

Ensemble

Since making a highly-praised debut at the 1996 edition of the Pablo Casals Festival in Puerto Rico, Trio Casals has delighted audiences with spectacular virtuosity, engaging enthusiasm, and exquisite musical elegance. The ensemble released several commercial albums with PARMA Recordings and Navona Records to critical acclaim with Ovidiu Marinescu and past members including Anna Kislitysyna, Alexandr Kislitsyn, and Sylvia Ahramjian, from the beloved MOTO series to A GRAND JOURNEY and more. Marinescu remains in the current ensemble line up, with Mădălina-Claudia Dănilă and Timothy Schwarz joining in 2024.

Peter Sulski

Violist

Peter Sulski was a member of the London Symphony Orchestra for seven years. While in England he served on the faculty of the Royal College of Music and Trinity College of Music and Drama, as well as being Artistic Director of Chapel Royal Concerts, which he founded in 1993.

Ovidiu Marinescu

Cellist, Composer

Ovidiu Marinescu is internationally recognized as a cellist, composer, conductor, and educator. He has performed at Carnegie Hall, Weill Hall, Merkin Hall (New York), the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory, Holywell Room in Oxford, Oriental Art Center in Shanghai, and has appeared as soloist with the London Symphony, New York Chamber Symphony, the National Radio Orchestra of Romania, Moscow Chamber Orchestra, Helena, Great Falls, Portsmouth, and Newark Symphonies, Southeastern Pennsylvania Symphony Orchestra, Cleveland Philharmonic, Limeira Symphony in Brazil, Orquesta de Extremadura in Spain, and most of the professional orchestras in his native Romania. The album LONDON CELLO CONNECTION features Marinescu and London Symphony Orchestra in eight newly commissioned cello concertos by North American composers.

Anna Kislitsyna

Pianist

Pianist and harpsichordist Anna Kislitsyna made her solo debut at age 10 with the Omsk Symphony Orchestra. She remains in high demand as a soloist, collaborative pianist, and educator. Recent season highlights include five new album productions with PARMA Recordings and two release concerts in Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall, performing Haydn and Shostakovich Piano Concertos with Helena Symphony and Southeastern Pennsylvania Symphony Orchestra, and returning to the Omsk Philharmonic as a soloist to give the inaugural performance on the new harpsichord.

Juventas New Music Ensemble

Ensemble

Juventas New Music Ensemble is a contemporary chamber group with a special focus on emerging voices. Juventas shares classical music as a vibrant, living art form. They bring audiences music from a diverse array of composers that live in today’s world and respond to our time. Since its founding in 2005, Juventas has performed the music of more than 300 living composers. The ensemble has earned a reputation as a curator with a keen eye for new talent. It opens doors for composers with top-notch professional performances that present their work in the best possible light.

Notes

TRIO No. 1 (Koreana) is based on themes derived from Korean folk songs originating in the area around Seoul, called Kyonggido. Of the various styles of Korean folk songs, Kyonggido melodies, which are built on pentatonic scales, are the most accessible to Western ears. These three movements are not intended as folk song settings, but use melodies, rhythms, and motifs drawn from the songs as the basis for themes to be developed within the more-or-less strict musical forms of chaconne, scherzo, and fugue. The practice of drawing thematic material for composition from folk melodies is practically as old as the art of composition itself.

CHACONNE: (Andante con moto)
The chaconne is a variation form, dating from the Baroque Period, in which a short theme, or “ground,” is repeated over and over while other voices provide variations. In this movement, unlike the typical Baroque chaconne, the theme is not tied to a repeating harmonic pattern. The harmony varies and only the theme itself, or its inversion, repeats. The eight-measure ground, from the folk song “Toraji Taryong” (Bellflower Song), is played first by the cello alone, then followed by twelve variations and a coda, giving 14 repetitions in all of the ground.

SCHERZO: (Allegro agitato)
This movement follows a loose scherzo and trio form, with the trio theme incorporated into the reprise of the scherzo. The scherzo theme is from “Millyang Arirang,” a sad—but not slow—song set in the town of Millyang. The trio theme is adapted from “Hoe Sim Gok,” a shaman funeral song, and the rhythmic figure around which the movement is built derives from the percussion accompaniment to this song.

FUGUE: (Vivace con spirito)
The fugue subject for the last movement is adapted from “Nil Li Riya,” a light-hearted dancing tune whose title has no direct translation. Although fairly strict in form, this, like many other contemporary fugues, differs from the standard Baroque fugue in being less tonally grounded, with the answer coming in at the third rather than the fifth, and in the avoidance of strong cadences. Themes from the chaconne and scherzo are also worked into the fugal texture, unifying the three-movement composition.

— Richard E Brown

As the title indicates, Sonatina for Viola and Piano closely follows sonata form on a somewhat smaller scale. Tonality and tonal relationships are basic to sonata form, and in this sonatina, the tonal relationships within and between the movements are all based on seconds.

The first movement, “Allegro moderato,” is a fairly strict sonata-allegro in B minor.

The “Andante” second movement is a theme and variations in Bb major, an enharmonic minor second relationship to the outer movements.

The finale, “Vivace,” is an abridged sonata-rondo in the home key of B minor.

— Richard E Brown

Although my Trio for Violin, Horn, and Piano is inspired by the great work for the same instrumentation by Johannes Brahms (1833-1897), usually called simply the “Horn Trio” op. 40, it is definitely not otherwise modeled on it. Besides belonging to a different period of music and all the rhythmic, harmonic, and stylistic differences that come with that, this trio is overall on a much smaller scale, lasting roughly half the duration of the Brahms masterpiece and having three movements to the Brahms Trio’s four.

I drew much of the raw thematic material for this composition from my 18 New Etudes for the Advancing Horn Student (WaveFront Music LLC – 2021).

— Richard E Brown

As the title indicates, Sonatina for Cello and Piano closely follows sonata form on a somewhat smaller scale. Tonality and tonal relationships are basic to sonata form, and in this sonatina, the tonal relationships within and between the movements are mostly, but not all, based on thirds.

The first movement, “Allegro moderato,” is a fairly strict sonata-allegro in D minor.

The “Andante con moto” second movement is a lyrical chaconne in F major, the relative major of the home key and a minor third above it.

The finale, “Allegro,” is an abridged sonata-rondo in the home key of D minor.

— Richard E Brown

TRIO No. 2 (Pastoral) is subtitled “Pastoral” partly because of the prevailing mood of its music, but more because most of its thematic material—except for the bookend prologue and epilogue—is derived from motifs mined from the Pastoral Symphony of Ralph Vaughan Williams, to whose memory the work is dedicated. The three movements of this trio are not given titles like those in the first trio. In the earlier work, very strict musical forms are used and each movement is named by its form: chaconne, scherzo, and fugue. But that isn’t the case with the newer work, which makes little use of traditional named forms.

Here is a brief description of the individual movements:

I: Lento – Moderato
The opening prologue (“Lento”) was the first music written for this piece and was completed before the procedure of developing motifs from another work called “pastoral” was decided on. The remainder of the movement (“Moderato”) could be called a subtle ABA form with the second A section incorporating material from the B section.

II: Animato – Tranquillo – Tempo I
Unlike the outer two movements, this one actually follows a very loose scherzo and trio form, but not closely enough to give it that name. The “trio” section is more contrasting than it would be in a typical scherzo, being in a slower tempo and a melancholy mood.

III: Adagio – Lento
While the themes in this trio are built on motifs from RVW’s symphony, it does not attempt to emulate his style, and otherwise the two works have very little in common. But it does take a page from RVW in closing with a slow movement and ending quietly. The “Adagio” first section builds from pp to ff and then transitions into the quiet epilogue, which is basically a retrograde (played backwards) version of the opening prologue, making for very symmetrical bookends.

— Richard E Brown