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Program 3 | Book of Departures

Louise Farrenc | Piano Trio

Stuart Greenbaum | Book of Departures

Maurice Ravel | Piano Trio

In this program, we explore three striking works for Piano Trio from across the musical spectrum. Louise Farrenc is one of the few female voices we have from the 19th Century, though her work is little known. Farrenc showed great talent as a Pianist and composer at a young age, and at 15, her parents allowed her to study at the Paris Conservatoire under Anton Reicha - though is is unclear whether or not she was able to, given the class was only open to men. After an impressive career as a concert Pianist, Farrenc was appointed to the prestigious position of Professor of Piano at the Paris Conservatoire, though she was paid significantly less than her male counterparts for the first decade of her thirty year tenure. Though still little known, Louise Farrenc’s Piano Trio is one of the works that has recently been rediscovered. Stuart Greenbaum’s Book of Departures was the final commission of the disbanding Sonic Arts Ensemble, and was conceived in three chapters, which circle through a range from emotions, from triumphant, to nostalgic, to optimistic. Greenbaum considers minimalism, Jazz and Pop amongst his musical influences, and his works never fail to move and engage us. Maurice Ravel had been mulling over his ideas for a Piano Trio for years, but it was the outbreak of World War I, and the knowledge that he would have to depart to the front, that spurred him on to finally complete the project. As he wrote to Stravinksy in October 1914, “the idea that I should be leaving at once made me get through five months' work in five weeks! My Trio is finished.” By October, he was enlisted in the army. Ravel’s influences in writing the trio were various, including Basque dance (a heritage he felt great affinity with) and Malaysian poetry, to name two - and the result is a work sparkling with vitality and vigour, which, some hundred years after its composition, never fails to sound fresh and new.  

Glebe Justice Centre

37 Saint Johns Road Glebe Sydney 2037, Australia

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Organiser Information

Eleanor Betts
Strelitzia Ensemble

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