Paxos Festival

Piano Trio by S. Papanas, V. Saitis, M. Jatkauskaite

Saturday September 10th
Concert for violin, cello and piano

In Search of their Roots

Saturday September 10th Concert for violin, cello and piano In Search of their Roots Claude Debussy “Reverie” is one of the first works that made an impact written by the composer; he was still in search of his sound and style but an early sign that Debussy was on the watch. Paul Schoenfield uses an entire century’s worth of American popular music in his Cafe Music and Bedrich Smetana struggles to create a Czech national music out of sheer will in his Piano Trio in G minor. Join this evening with tree outstanding musicians, who follow respectively successful solo careers for this wonderful programme full of contrasts, dreams, ferocity and a bit of jazz…. 1. Debussy Reverie ( 5 min)  2. B. Smetana Piano Trio  (30 min) 3. Schoenfield Cafe Music (18min )

1. Debussy Reverie ( 5 min)
2. B. Smetana Piano Trio  (30 min)
3. Schoenfield Cafe Music (18min)



Programme Notes

DEBUSSY REVERIE (arr.for Piano Trio)

More proof, as if it were needed, that Claude Debussy was the master of creating dream-like atmospheres in his piano music. Written in 1890, Debussy’s Reverie was one of his first solo piano works to make an impact. Even at this early stage in his career, when he was still working out what kind of composer he wanted to be (he was apparently a fervent debater when it came to Wagnerism), it’s clear to see traits of that signature Debussy sound. The gently repetitive theme that opens the work feels like a descent into sleepy dream-world (as the title suggests), and as the textures become ever richer the dreams only become more lush and addictive. A fantastic early sign that this Debussy fellow was one to watch…


Born in Detroit, Michigan in 1947, Paul Schoenfield writes music that combines classical, folk, and popular forms. Once an active concert pianist, Schoenfield now teaches composition at the University of Michigan. The composer wrote the following note about Café Music: “The idea to compose Café Music first came to me in 1985 after sitting in one night for the pianist at Murray’s Restaurant in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Murray’s employs a house trio that plays entertaining dinner music in a wide variety of styles. My intention was to write a kind of high-class dinner music – music which could be played at a restaurant, but might also (just barely) find its way into a concert hall. The work draws on many of the types of music played by the trio at Murray’s. For example, early 20th-century American, Viennese, light classical, gypsy, and Broadway styles are all represented. A paraphrase of a beautiful Chassidic melody is incorporated in the second movement. “Café Music was commissioned by the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra (SPCO) and received its premiere during a SPCO chamber concert in January 1987.”

SMETANA Piano Trio in G-Minor Op.15

Smetana wrote his only piano trio in 1855 when he was just thirty-one. He dedicated the work to his oldest daughter Bedřiška who had just died at the age of four from scarlet fever, a young girl of great musical abilities with whom Smetana had an especially close relationship. He was devastated. Though he left no specific programmatic description of the trio, its grief-stricken and elegiac character is unmistakable. One of the most powerful works in the literature, it is equally historical. Influenced by Eastern-European folk music with its unbridled passion, spanning rhapsodic forms full of rich thematic variation and a piano style more Liszt than Chopin, Smetana’s lone piano trio is a milestone of romanticism. It predates and significantly presages music that would soon come from the likes of Brahms and Dvořák among others.