Gaspar  Cassadó (Moreu)

Gaspar Cassadó (1897-1966)

Nationality: Spanish
Born: September 30, 1897, Barcelona
Died: December 24, 1966, Madrid (age 69)
wikipedia

Piano Trio in C major

(for violin, cello and piano)
I. Allegro risoluto - Allegro ma non troppo
II. Tempo moderato e pesante - Allegro giusto - Tempo I
III. Recitativo. Moderato ed appassionato - Rondo. Allegro vivo
Composed: between 1924-1926 (age 27-29)
Published: 1926 (age 28-29)
Revised: 1929. (age 31-32)
Dedication: Alfredo Casella
Duration: 17 minutes (approximately)
4 recordings, 10 videos
7:11
Trio Arriaga
I. Allegro risoluto - Allegro ma non troppo
4:52
Trio Arriaga
II. Tempo moderato e pesante - Allegro giusto - Tempo I
4:25
Trio Arriaga
III. Recitativo. Moderato ed appassionato - Rondo. Allegro vivo
7:20
ATOS Trio
I. Allegro risoluto - Allegro ma non troppo
4:54
ATOS Trio
II. Tempo moderato e pesante - Allegro giusto - Tempo I
6:53
ATOS Trio
III. Recitativo. Moderato ed appassionato - Rondo. Allegro vivo
4:58
Eon Trio
III. Recitativo. Moderato ed appassionato - Rondo. Allegro vivo
7:27
Kairos Trio
I. Allegro risoluto - Allegro ma non troppo
4:41
Kairos Trio
II. Tempo moderato e pesante - Allegro giusto - Tempo I
4:47
Kairos Trio
III. Recitativo. Moderato ed appassionato - Rondo. Allegro vivo

From Kai Christiansen:

Gaspar Cassadó (1897-1966)

Piano Trio (1924)

Gaspar CassadóThe Spanish cellist and composer Gaspar Cassadó was born just before the turn of the 20th century to a music family. His father Joaquin was a pianist, church musician and respected amateur composer while his brother Agustin was a talented violinist. In an effort to give them the best training, Joaquin moved the whole family to Paris in 1907. The gifted sons studied with the best imaginable teachers: Agustin with Jacques Thibaud and Gaspar with Pablo Casals. For a number of years, the father and sons performed as a successful piano trio. In Paris, Cassadó encountered some of the leading musical lights of the early 20th century: Debussy, Ravel and Satie. He studied composition with Ravel and with Manuel de Falla as well as befriending the composers Alfredo Casella, Joaquin Turina, and Isaac Albéniz. Each of these composers would write music inspired by the rhythms, harmonies, melodies and colors of Spanish folk music creating an instantly recognizable style of modern Spanish Nationalism.

Written in 1926, Cassadó’s three-movement piano trio is a delicious Spanish-tinged fantasy composed with the technical assurance of one well acquainted with the ensemble from an insider’s point of view. It is best characterized as a fantasia because of its relaxed formal structure and its idiosyncratic freedom from the typical conventions of the 19th century piano trio tradition. The opening movement is not a formally argued sonata, the middle movement is not a traditional slow movement and a dance character appears to be liberally scattered throughout the entire work.

All three movements make liberal use of features characteristic of the “Spanish sound.” First, there is a melodic and harmonic tendency to move up and down by a half-step, a tight and spicy interval that likely derives from Flamenco guitarists moving up and down the neck in close intervals for a particularly potent drama of tension and stepwise resolution. Second, Cassadó frequently embellishes his melodic lines with rapid three-note ornament that is an immediately recognizable signature of the style. The scoring is agile and virtuosic for a variety of compelling colors. And finally, the use of piquant rhythms and a wide range of swiftly changing dynamics infuse the music with a lively bravado against a backdrop of panoramic splendor. The most prominent point of contrast occurs in the middle movement where Cassadó creates a suspenseful, dark-tinged mood through a series of rapid but subdued figurations that flicker and flame with mysterious magic before yielding to the more light-hearted relief of dancing finale.

© Kai Christiansen. Used by permission. All rights reserved.