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Piano Trio No. 2: And Then The Mist Rose

The Aquinas Piano Trio

And Then The Mist Rose was written as a compliment to my first piano trio, in part to explore the similarities and differences in writing for the same instrumentation more than 25 years apart. In this respect I decided to maintain the lyrical lines that were evident in the first trio, but not to be so wedded to a particular structure and form, focusing more on the simple judgement of what makes a piece work, subjective as this is.

There is another aspect that has been important to my writing during the years between the two trios - often I have been drawn to subjects and contemporary issues that have a distinctive background and story to them. Sometimes this was because of the nature of the words if voices were to be used, as with The Angry Garden. But on other occasions it was because I just felt strongly about something, as with the celebration of the end of apartheid in the ’Robben Island’ string quartet. But with And Then The Mist Rose, as with Illusive Years, I have not followed this approach. It is simply a ‘piece of music’, in a way more challenging to write especially when, as mentioned above, close adherence to a particular structure is not observed.

But of course some influences and memories shape the music and contribute to the overall warmth of the trio. The title, for example, reminds me particularly of two very minor incidents, the flash of blue of a kingfisher along a river in the early morning, and the sudden lifting of a very low state of my mind as the sun passed across my desk, both occurring in far younger days. And the gentleness of the third movement is connected in my mind with my first grandchild, peace before life imparts its stresses and strains.

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