Croquis (Sketches) – a fascinating sequence of miniatures for string trio commissioned by BBC Radio 3 to be spaced between programmes across an evening’s broadcasting, recorded here by members of the Kreutzer Quartet – is coupled with Tristia, a powerful work for violin and piano performed by Peter Sheppard Skaerved and Aaron Shorr.
‘Back in 1980: another evening on Radio 3, another new BBC commission – only there was something intriguingly different about this one. Instead of writing a single substantial work, the composer had asked if he could cast it in the form of a collection of short pieces to be spaced between programmes across an entire evening’s broadcasting – and so the three ‘Cahiers’ of miniatures comprising Croquis for string trio were duly launched.’
This recording was released with support from the RVW Trust.
‘The recent Tristia for violin and piano [is] the most nakedly lyrical work in Roberts’s short work-list. Inspired by Russian poet Osip Mandelstam, it has the quality of a series of sepia photographs animated for a tantalisingly brief moment before the final silence.’
The Wire, August 2009