Antiphon, Lament, and Exaltation (Piano Trio)

This is the premiere performance of a new composition I finished last month, entitled “Antiphon, Lament, and Exaltation.” It was commissioned by the Sycamore Trio (my friends Dan Mattix, Katie Mattix, and Luke Lusk) with an excellent though underused instrumentation of violin, clarinet, and piano. The piece is in three movements, which the performers requested to be something that would serve equally well for a church service or a concert performance. Naturally, I was happy to oblige.

I was really pleased with the way everything turned out, so now you get to see it. Here’s a video recording of each movement:

1. Antiphon

2. Lament

3. Exaltation

From the program notes:

The piece begins with an “Antiphon,” a term drawn from early church music where separate groups of musicians traded alternating musical phrases, often as part of an invocation or a responsive prayer. Here, a stately melody is exchanged among the three instruments with overlapping meters allowing each instrument to display its distinctive tonal color. The second movement, “Lament,” shows the melancholy side of the clarinet, with a lyrical, slightly Chopinesque solo evoking a wordless prayer of sorrow. Finally, “Exaltation” transforms the musical ideas of the first two movements into an outpouring of joy. Bright sixteenth-note arpeggios and a soaring melodic line combine to create a feeling of flight, concluding the piece with an uplifting moment of praise.

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“Antiphon, Lament, and Exaltation”
(for violin, clarinet, and piano)

Composed by Eric M. Pazdziora
Performed by Sycamore Trio
Violin: Katie Mattix
Clarinet: Luke Lusk
Piano: Dan Mattix
Premiered March 25, 2012, at Western Springs Christian Reformed Church, Western Springs, IL.
For more information, contact the composer.

AuthorEric Pazdziora

Composer, Author, Pianist

7 replies to Antiphon, Lament, and Exaltation (Piano Trio)

  1. This is wonderful, Eric. I wasn’t at church that night, but know that a slightly elderly woman, Anna Jean, was there. Later that night, to the shock of all, she died. I couldn’t help but think, while listening to this, how nice it was that she was able to listen to such beautiful, soul-moving music her last day on earth, and for her husband to experience it with her. There is both sorrow and joy in it, and I know that he is feeling both those emotions on such terrible levels right now.

    On another note, the music (especially the third movement) felt almost other-worldly to me. I kept thinking of all the incredible and delightful experiences the children of Narnia had as they entered different worlds and learned such new, awesome, and joyous things about Aslan.

    I love it!

    • Wow, Linnea. In some ways that’s very sobering, but in other ways I think it may have been exactly what I was writing the music about.

      Thanks for telling me that story and your thoughts on the music as well. Narnian allusions are always welcome here!

  2. Eric, it was a treat and an honor to listen to your composition — I’m still smiling.  My husband listened to it, too, and we both thought it sounded like it could be in the movie, “The Ten Commandments” — lyrical, MOVING, and incredible.  Thanks for this Easter blessing!  Happy Easter to you and Carrie!

  3. P.S.  We’re just about to watch the Ten Commandments 🙂 and I’m going to listen to your music again before it starts… a lovely way to usher in our favorite “holiday” tradition.  Thank you, Eric.

    • That’s probably the first time I’ve ever been compared to Elmer Bernstein. Glad you enjoyed it!

  4. This is an absolute delight to listen to! The shift from mood to mood is well done. You have quite the talent, Eric!

    •  This piece just really moves me.

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