In recent years, I’ve realized how deeply inspired I am to write music by the very people I write it for.
I’ve always found the story of the Franck Violin Sonata as incredibly moving and romantic as the music itself: Franck wrote the sonata for Ysaye and his wife as a wedding present, and they premiered it at the wedding, sight reading through the score. It is one of my favorite pieces of all time, and the love and intention with which it was written resonates so deeply through the music.
As I was finishing my Clarinet Concerto for Albany Symphony in April, I was also planning my trip to Paris for one of my closest friends, Suzana Bartal‘s wedding. As the two women in our year of the Yale DMA program, we supported each other unconditionally through some of the toughest moments of our lives, celebrated our accomplishments with each other, and developed a deep and lasting friendship. As I wrote my last commission of the season, I saw that the slow movement of my Clarinet Concerto could actually be turned into a piano trio as a wedding gift to Suzana and her husband Eric. Suzana is a world class concert pianist, and one of her chamber music specialties is playing piano trios.
Our story ended up a little differently from Cesar Frank’s: as I was at Suzana and Eric’s wedding, this trio, in an amazing coincidence, was actually being premiered in Los Angeles on the same day. Even though it was performed a world away, it made me so happy that was premiered by and for some of my dearest friends in Los Angeles.
A beautiful addendum to this story: two years later, Suzana played this trio for the first time in the United States at a concert at the Wallis Annenberg Performing Arts Center, in Beverly Hills, CA, with cellist Peter Myers and violinist Vijay Gupta. And the next day Vijay and I got married. I love that this one piece has played a central role in both of our weddings.
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Full audio guide will be available in the future.
This piece was written for Suzana Bartal. It was premiered on June 10, 2017, with Salastina Music Society in Los Angeles CA (Maia Jasper White, violin; Charlie Tyler, cello; Gideon Rubin, piano)
Click here for press coverage of Saans at the Bridgehampton Music Festival.