Instrumentation: Violin, Violincello, and Piano
Completed: May 15, 2015 in Karlsruhe-Durlach, Germany
"Ricercar", a derivative of ricercare - the Italian word, meaning, "to search" - was adapted to name an archaic musical form which eventually developed into the fugue. That is exactly what this piece does; it follows a set form - sonata allegro - presenting and developing themes through three movements. In the end, the cumulative effort of these developments emerges in a fugal counterpoint.
I. Allegro - a somewhat skittish opening theme leads to a serene countermelody in the piano. Both vie for prominence throughout a development section that includes the first inkling of material comprising the Fugue subject.
II. Adagio - an expansion on themes presented in the first movement, this adagio unfolds as a duet between the piano and a pairing of the strings. Long, sustained lines are countered by a sense of darkening clouds, and the movement ends in an unsettling mood.
III. Finale, Fugue - a methodical, driven ostinato begins the movement, pausing briefly to let in a few rays of light along the way. These rays become brighter as the players' voices are combined with the sounds of their instruments. Fragments of themes from the first movement are layered on top of this texture, which hastens a climactic resolution. When the fugue finally appears we hear the summation of all the elements heard throughout the work.