- A Trio Setting for violin, clarinet, & piano
- Tripartita for violin, clarinet & piano
- Adagio and Variations, for violin, clarinet & piano
The building of a repertoire is a serious undertaking: it not only requires ample resources to commission new works, but also the acumen and foresight to choose composers who will provide substantial and challenging pieces that will endure. Through what seem heroic efforts, the Verdehr Trio has commissioned over 75 compositions for its slightly irregular combination of violin, clarinet, and piano; performed its ever-growing catalog of chamber works internationally; and recorded many of them for Crystal Records. The Making of a Medium, Vol. 3, presents three of the Verdehr's specially tailored pieces -- Gunther Schuller's whimsical "A Trio Setting" (1990), William Averitt's mysterious and tense "Tripartita" (1989), and Nathanial Currier's mischievously inventive "Adagio and Variations" (1989) -- and these new pieces are, surprisingly, as accessible as the performances are satisfying. Whether the brighter qualities of these instruments inspire lighter moods, or the Verdehr's own playing emphasizes transparency, above all else the music is rather buoyant and lively, and extraordinarily varied for such a limited palette. Violinist Walter Verdehr, clarinetist Elsa Ludewig-Verdehr, and pianist Gary Kilpatrick play with remarkable ease and familiarity, and what might have seemed off-putting modernist works in less capable hands are ingratiating and enjoyable thanks to the Verdehr's gracefulness and clarity. Crystal's reproduction is clear in details and realistically balanced.