John Gordon Armstrong

Canadian Composer


In Three

Notes from the composer

In Three was written for Trio Fantasia—Sophie Rivard (Baroque Violin), Mary Cyr (Viola da Gamba), Sandra Mangsen (Harpsichord)—in the Fall and Winter of 1991-1992. It was my second piece for Sandra Mangsen, the first being Crochets for solo harpsichord. In Three develops from a number of my continuing interests, the most striking being the combination of full-length movements with short interludes. “Prelude” is a slow, evocative movement which contrasts the long lines of the stringed instruments with the more characteristic nervous gestures of the harpsichord. “Diabolus in Musica” is a perverse dance which alternates 3/4 and 2/4 measures in an apparently unpredictable way. The final movement is a fugato, my only allusion to the eighteenth century. The two interludes are for solo harpsichord and strings respectively. They are the most abstract and expressionistic parts of this score.

In Three was premiered on February 17, 1995 at the MacDonald Art Gallery, Guelph University by Trio Fantasia.

Composed in 1992 for baroque violin, viola da gamba, harpsichord
Three Movements and Two Interludes
Duration: 17 minutes
Very Difficult/Somewhat Abstract