Oud, Cello (or Viola) and Piano
Taiseer Elias - oud, Iris Jortner - cello, Menachem Wiesenberg - piano (2005)
The Trio was commissioned by the cellist Uri Vardi, and funded by the University of Wisconsin in Madison.
I wrote the piece in a belated response to the murder of the Israeli Prime Minister Itzhak Rabin. It is a continuation of my earlier works which combine the oud with Western instruments in the context of Western music.
The work develops in a free associative manner and contains, side by side, written parts open to improvisation by one of the instruments on the basis of ostinato (a repetitive pattern) by the other two. In spite of the work being constructed as a mosaic which underlines the oriental influences therein, it has also melodic, harmonic, rhythmic and orchestral motivic elements which are repeated, in transformation, throughout the piece and contribute to its unity. The character of the work is mainly gloomy and lamenting. Towards the end, however, a glimmer of hope and optimism can be felt.