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Ritual Triptych

for piano trio

Year:  2014 Instrumentation:  violin, cello, piano

Year:  2014
Instrumentation  violin, cello, piano

John Elmsly

Composer:   John Elmsly


It would be tempting to look for a religious connotation with such a title, but the allusion is simpler. This is simply a work whose full energy is in a central panel, which is, at times, an explosive landscape of patterns, repetition, overlaps, collisions: the complexities of life. The central panel is framed by more focused, evocative, meditative commentaries. There is no direct visual inspiration for the work, though I have long had a fascination with the various historical manifestations of the idea. Perhaps there are parallels in this obsessive central movement, with the 'Garden of Earthly Delights' by Hieronymus Bosch, one of the greatest masterpieces of the Northern Renaissance, or with the erotic danger and confusion in Francis Bacon’s 'Triptych,' 1970.

Commissioned note

Commissioned by NZTrio.

Contents note

I. Adagio
II. Con fuoco
III. Poco adagio

Performance history

14 Sep 2014: Performed by NZTrio at the Q Theatre Loft, in Auckland.