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Piano Trio No. 1, 'Het Achterhuis'

for piano trio

Year:  1988   ·  Duration:  37m

Year:  1988
Duration:  37m

Colin Decio

Composer:   Colin Decio

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Sample Score

Sample: First page of each movement

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Piano Trio No. 1, 'Het Achterhuis' was composed in response to a series of twenty-one batiks by British artist Greg Tricker. The third movement relates to a painting of Anne and Peter in the attic. The whole work is molto sostenuto. At the end of the sixth movement, Anne's spirit floats away.

The trio was also the starting point for a theatre work entitled Souvenir d'Anne Frank, which featured Decio's solo piano work, Prelude for Anne Frank.

Movement I
A struggle between piano and strings stretching at the seams with several pianistic ‘outbursts’. Anne’s spirit confined. Harmonics are poignant, intimate and personal. References to Shostakovich’s 2nd Trio are not unintentional. The music finally breaks out into snippets of ‘Jewish’ dance-like themes, combined with an unrelenting driving rhythm amidst which Anne’s childlike taunting-tune first makes a brief appearance. The movement relents and closes with unsettled low ‘C’s.

Movement II (Scherzo)
A lively dance. The Jews express their suffering through movement. The last few notes of the Scherzo spell 'DSCH'.

Movement III (Interlude)
‘Dreams and cherished hopes arise within us’ – piano solo.

Movement IV
A lament for cello and violin.

Movement V (Passacaglia)
The passacaglia begins on piano. ‘Hammer blows’ ensue on the annexe door, Anne’s greatest fear - of discovery. Unable to contain itself any longer the violin begins to scream. A painful cadence closes the movement.

Movement VI (Finale)
Graceful pizzicato notes. The piano creeps in with an echo of earlier tunes. A change of gear and a tormented waltz. After a brief tutti moment the piano, given free reign, begins a manic cadenza stopping on the interval of an augmented fourth. Here we hear a major statement in C# minor - despair and grief. This is the emotional climax of the work.

The Coda begins with the Westertoren clock. Anne’s spirit floats away on high harmonics played on the violin.

Contents note

I. Lento
II. Allegro
III. Moderato
IV. Lento
V. Largo
VI. Con moto