List of Works || Trialogue

Trialogue (1971)

1. Sh, Never, 2. Jump Cow, 3. Cry, Sigh, Why, 4. My Dear, Etcetera, 5. Wow!, 6. Who Said? 7. Do I, 8. Duo, 9. Oh, That I were, 10. Listen, 11. Hear Me 12. Oh, My, 13. All is Still, 14. Yes, No, 15. Sh

Soprano, Flute, Piano

Duration: 15 minutes

First Performance: 19 July 1971, Toronto; Lyric Arts Trio

Inspired by theatricality first seen in Around the Stage in Twenty-Five Minutes (1970) for solo percussion, Weinzweig began to include detailed instructions for stage movements in his solo voice works. Trialogue for soprano, flute, and piano demonstrates such theatricality not only in its use of extended technique but also instructions for movement around the stage and interactions between performers. It was commissioned by the CBC for the Lyric Arts Trio, who performed it frequently around the world. The fifteen short “events” are varied in their drama and humour, as the soprano sings, whispers, mutters, and even strums the piano strings. The pianist creates clusters with a fist or forearm and both instruments explore their percussive capabilities. The “events” may be performed in any order, excepting the last one, “Sh,” whose exiting instructions necessitate its ultimate position.

The text sources and influences for the “events” are varied: nursery rhymes, poetry, drinking songs, and nonsense syllables. As opposed to a clear narrative, the text is a vehicle for exploring the sound of language; it often betrays Weinzweig’s wit and humour, and demonstrates his preference for sharply articulated and rhythmic texts. Weinzweig is variable in his use of the three performers: for example, “All is Still” is for unaccompanied soprano; “Duo” is for piano and flute; and “My Dear, Etcetera” is for piano and soprano. As the title suggests, though, dialogue between performers is central to both the musical organisation and theatricality of the work.

Written by Alexa Woloshyn