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Kats-Chernin, Elena: Calliope Dreaming (2009) 7'
for piano trio


piano, violin, cello

Abbreviations (PDF)


This work is available from Boosey & Hawkes for the world.

World Premiere

Schloß Esterházy, Haydnsaal, Eisenstadt
Haydn Trio Eisenstadt

Composer's Notes

Composing this piece was part of the D2H festival in which 18 composers around the world were commissioned to write a piece as a tribute to Joseph Haydn, Early in the process of conceiving this piece, while researching about Haydn and his music, I came across a sentence in some of his biographies that he wished for the slow movement of his "Mourning Symphony" nr 44 ("TRAUERSINFONIE") to be played at his funeral.

Somehow that ignited my imagination. I thought that this notion perhaps would create a connection to the occasion for which I was writing this trio, the anniversary of Haydn's death.

While studying the work, I realized that there were so many beautiful inspiring motifs in it that I decided to compose a fantasy on the many different themes of the symphony, without keeping to the order in which they originally appeared. While I worked quite freely with these motivs, I did give the slow movement more exposure than to other themes. Naturally, during the process of the composing, my own motivs crept in and the whole mood of the piece started to take a shape which was more in line with the Finale of the symphony, which is based on the edgy rhythmic material that I really liked very much.

My piece for the trio is overall quite energetic, however with some calmer moments. Because of the upbeat character of most of the piece, the following association occured to me: that of a piece played by a Calliope, a keyboard instrument made up of steam whistles. In Greek Mythology Calliope is also a name for a muse of epic poetry, which I thought was somehow a bonus, even though the piece is not epic, but maybe has some poetic moments.

© Elena Kats-Chernin 2009

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