JEREMY DALE ROBERTS (b.1934): Tristia for Violin and Piano, Croquis for String Trio.
Catalogue Number: 11L114
Reference: D 151
Description: Tristia reflects the composer's interest in the 'doomed generation' of Russian artists, especially poets, from the years around the Revolution. Six sonorous movements, intimate and predominantly dark-toned, evoke early 20th century St. Petersburg in images of chill uncertainty, fractured by bursts of violent conflict. Roberts is of the same generation as Birtwistle and Goehr, and falls into a very broadly similar category of mid-century British modernism, in which tonality was not a concern so much as dramatic effect and a free use of contemporary compositional resources. The 27 short movements of the piano trio Croquis were written to be played throughout an evening's broadcasting on the BBC; performed en masse and sequentially, they emerge as a fractured surface masking a larger unity, incorporating many stylized compositional devices from the accumulation of sonorous clusters to suggestions of various ethnic dance rhythms or traditional forms, all in a freely, largely atonal, precisely crafted idiom. Members of the Kreutzer Quartet, Aaron Shorr (piano).