Robert Helps, Chamber tour

Chamber Music by Robert Helps

Trio no. 2 (1996) [violin, ‘cello, & piano]

— This gem of Helps’ “late” period delivers some of his most haunting music in the taut space of about ten minutes.
Helps offered his remarks about the work and its genesis:
A bit of raging, hilarious frustration in the third movement of Trio no. 2
“ Two reasons, among others, worked towards making this piece a ‘major’ effort; 1 – I had not written a multiple movement work in several years and 2 – I had always considered my Trio no. 1 (1957) as perhaps the best piece of my early output and I certainly  didn’t want to write a new one that I would view less favorably. In any event, I felt some pressure on me and began by writing perhaps the most important (most serious? most heartfelt?) movement – a lengthy, sustained, and somewhat other-worldly, very slow second movement. That over, the second movement got surrounded by a quite amiable textural allegro first movement and a considerably more torrid and impetuous third movement with the perhaps not-in-the-best-taste, but nonetheless descriptive title ‘Toccata Frustrata.’ ”

I – Duets
II – Horizons
III – La Toccata frustrata

Trio no. 2 is dedicated to Scott Kluksdahl and the Lions Gate Trio who gave its premiere performance and recording.

Read also: Trio no. 1