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This project was successfully funded on August 21, 2015

Trios by Fauré, Zemlinsky, and Buide

by Trio Séléné


We are Trio Séléné, a classical musical ensemble comprised of clarinetist Mingzhe Wang, cellist Eli Lara, and pianist Ilya Poletaev. We hope to raise at least $8,000 in order to finish our debut recording of Trios by Fauré, Zemlinsky, and Buide. With this album, we are highlighting under-represented masterworks and also promoting a newly commissioned composition for this colorful combination of instruments.

Gabriel Fauré’s compositions have long been under-represented in performance, recordings, and scholarly research. This is especially true regarding his chamber music repertoire. The Trio Op. 120, his penultimate work, was first published by Durand as a traditional piano trio (scored for piano, violin, and cello). There is strong evidence, however, that Fauré had originally conceived of the work with clarinet instead of violin. During the time that he was writing the work, Fauré wrote enthusiastically in a letter to his wife that he had “started a Trio for clarinet, cello and piano”, and he further proclaimed that an “important section of the Trio” was completed.

The work is daring in its harmonic language, autumnal in sentiment, and masterful in compositional craft. Performed with clarinet instead of violin, the work sounds even more vivid in harmonic color and tonal contrast. Even in its traditional scoring, the Trio has not been frequently recorded. Our recording would certainly be among the very few as a clarinet trio. Pianist Ilya Poletaev, who came across the above referenced letter from Fauré to his wife, initially suggested the idea of performing the work with clarinet; we first performed the Fauré Trio with this unique instrumentation in 2006.

Along with the Fauré Trio, our recording features Alexander von Zemlinsky’s Trio for Clarinet, Cello, and Piano in D Minor, Op. 3 (1897). Although Zemlinsky’s masterfully constructed Trio is a perfect embodiment of Viennese late Romanticism, the work has not garnered the appreciation and attention it deserves. From the dark and ominous opening theme to the restless vibrancy of the maniacal finale, this work provides a wonderful counterpoint to the soaring unfolding of wistful melodies in the Fauré.

To further explore the soundscape of this instrumentation, Trio Séléné commissioned a new composition for this disc from Spanish composer Fernando Buide, who is currently the most performed living Spanish composer in Spain. The marvelous color and atmospheric sound world of Buide’s music create a nostalgic quality that provides an exceptional complement to the Fauré and Zemlinksy Trios. Buide earned his doctoral degree in composition at Yale University and is currently professor of composition at the Conservatorio Superior de Música da Coruña in Spain.

Trio Séléné is excited to work with Grammy award-winning producer Blanton Alspaugh at Soundmirror to record and produce our debut recording. Following performances of these works (including the world premiere of the Buide) at Columbia and Rutgers Universities during the spring of 2014, we began the recording process in July 2014. We are thrilled to be working with such an amazing artist and engineer both for the recording sessions and as we continue the editing process.

Trio Séléné is fortunate to have been awarded substantial grant funding support, nearly 10,000 dollars, from Austin Peay State University and the Center of Excellence for the Creative Arts in Tennessee. But we are still $8,000 short of what we need to produce the final product - the mastering and editing required before we can release our debut CD recording. Your generous contributions can help us cross this final hurdle in order to complete this project and share this remarkable music. We thank you in advance for your financial support!

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    • August 02, 2015 Thomas Piercy Community Member

      Can you give a breakdown or list of expenses to explain why this CD is costing $18,000 to produce? Thank you.

      • August 03, 2015 Trio Séléné Artist

        Dear Thomas, thank you for your interest in our project and for your inquiry. I tried to reply here with our budget breakdown, but I couldn't format it, It automatically makes it a long running sentence which makes it difficult to read. I have just posted an update with our budget, please refer to that for more information. I hope the update answers your question. Thank you once again!