Trio no. 1 (1957) [violin, ‘cello, & piano]
— Helps was legitimately proud of this work, considering it the crown of his ‘early’ period.
Endowed with a Bartók-like density and expressiveness, the first movement, marked ‘Mesto,’ links a series a taut gestures towards a almost unbearable sense of expectation.
The second movement, ‘Molto marcato, molto allegro’ explodes this accumulated energy, splintering the music outward into scurrying figures.
The final movement ‘Maestoso’ offers an impressively original valediction — after a powerful fanfare, strange statements are formed by the instruments, as if reaching or grasping.
Duration : 12 ½ minutes.