Jon Lee


Jalbert Piano Trio no. 1

Program Notes

Raised in northern Vermont, Pierre Jalbert (b. 1967) studied piano and composition at Oberlin Conservatory, and was a student of the George Crumb at the University of Pennsylvania, where he received his doctorate in composition. He employs a wide gamut of available harmonies in his compositions, and creates vivid timbres with a pulse, which are on full display in this trio.

Jalbert composed this work for the Foothills Music Festival in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and unlike the previous works on this program, which are each four movements in their entirety, this work contains only two movements of contrasting character. The first, called Life Cycle, was inspired by the arrival of his first son: “I heard my son’s heartbeat for the first time a few months into my wife’s pregnancy and was very surprised at how rapid it was. This rapid pulse became the basis for the first movement. The four sections of the movement each reveal different characters, but are all driven by the rapid beat that opens the movement.” The mystical second movement, Agnus Dei, is modeled on the three-part structure of the Agnus Dei prayer:

Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi, miserere nobis.
Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi, miserere nobis.
Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi, dona nobis pacem.

The violin opens the movement with a mourning melody that is passed to the cello. After a cadence by the ensemble, the section is repeated, much like the second line in the prayer, but at a different pitch level. The material develops, but concludes at yet another place, similar to how the third line compares to the first two. Jalbert dedicated the movement to Mother Teresa who passed away during the creation of this movement.

Other resources

  • Updates:
  • 10 Sep 2022 — Adopted from Alden Trio program notes

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