By Nicky Swett
The cello and clarinet have many striking similarities: a mellow tone color; strength in the tenor register; certain breathy qualities that lead many to associate both instruments with the human voice. Until Johannes Brahms wrote a popular trio for clarinet, cello, and piano at the end of his life, it was relatively rare to hear pieces in which these two instruments’ contributions and qualities could be closely compared and their diverging roles observed. In the last century, far more has been written for piano-cello-clarinet trio, including works by Todd Cochran and Libby Larsen that will premiere at this Sonic Spectrum concert. This playlist features trios from the last 60 years, from the lush Rencontre of Isang Yun to the spritely trio of Teresa Procaccini to a bustling creation by famed film composer Nino Rota.
Cellist, writer, and researcher Nicky Swett is a PhD candidate and Gates Scholar at the University of Cambridge.