Three Nocturnes

Josefina Urraca, pianoKeir GoGwilt, violinYi Qun Xu, cello

I. Andante
II. Andante quieto
III. Tempestoso

Ernest Bloch was a composer, conductor, composition teacher, and music school administrator. Three Nocturnes for piano trio was written in Cleveland in 1924, the same year Bloch became an American citizen and one year before he assumed the position as director of San Francisco Conservatory of Music. These melodies are a departure from his earlier style, yet the mysticism and poetry remain. Each movement is written in a neo-classical style and depicts various characteristics of night. The first movement, Andante, evokes darkness and smokiness (listen to the bass line in the piano), while the second movement, Andante quieto, is a tender canonic lullaby. The final nocturne, Tempestoso, is driven by an undulating rhythmic pulse throughout, giving this movement a feeling of restlessness and turbulence. The calm theme from the second nocturne briefly appears, but the insistent repeating rhythmic material returns, only to evaporate into the darkness and mystery of night.

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