The Silverwood Trio brings to its audiences the unique combination of flute/soprano, cello and piano, offering a varied color palette of the instruments and voice. The Trio's repertoire covers a wide range of Classical music styles from the Baroque to Contemporary, including original compositions by Paul Hoffman.
Performing extensively in and around the Boston area, the Silverwood Trio has been the guests of such institutions as the Art Complex Museum, the Brookline Library Music Association, the Federal Reserve Bank, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the Newton-Free Library, and South Shore Conservatory. They have also performed live broadcasts on BCTV, Boston and their cd, In This World, was featured on Classics in the Morning on WGBH, 89.7 FM and also on WQED, Pittsburgh. The members of the Trio, Cindy Woolley (flute/soprano), Walter Halvorsen (cello) and Paul Hoffman (piano), are all graduates from the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston. Individually, they have performed many solo, chamber and orchestral concerts, including such ensembles as the Osmium Wind Quintet, the International Trio, the Philadelphia Chamber Soloists, the New Bedford Symphony, and the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra. Among Mr. Hoffman's awards is Third Prize in the 1992 Bartok/Kabalevsky International Piano Competition. Ms. Woolley is currently studying voice with Jean Danton.
Audiences have praised the Silverwood Trio's performances as, "sheer magic", "wonderful music, masterfully played", and " a rare and wonderful treat on a warm summer night or anytime!"
One of the standard works for our instrumental combination is the Trio (1944) by Czech-born composer, Bohuslav Martinu (1890-1959). Martinu studied with Albert Roussel in Paris, where he lived until 1940, when he fled the Nazis. Arriving in the United States, he was spurred into a long creative run by a commission from Serge Koussevitzky. The Trio is one of the compositions from that period. Known for his melodious style and use of modern counterpoint, the Trio has rich harmonies with hints of Martinu's Czech origins throughout the three movements.
It is easy to see why this work has endured in the chamber music repertoire.
With the composition, In This World (2000), we are embarking in a new direction with the use of voice. The song cycle for soprano/flute, cello and piano by Paul Hoffman is inspired by the best-selling novel "Einstein's Dreams" by Alan Lightman. The book presents a series of thirty dreams that Einstein might have had during the time he developed his theory of relativity, each depicting a world and its inhabitants governed by the peculiarities of their time. Mr. Hoffman adapted six of the dreams for his piece. Mr. Lightman is delighted with the finished work and comments, "The music is beautiful and captures a quality of sadness in the book".
Flutists are forever grateful for the twentieth-century French composers who loved the tonal qualities of the flute and composed many solo and chamber works for it. Gabriel Pierné (1863-1937) wrote the Sonata da Camera in 1927. Titled after the Baroque-era chamber sonatas, Pierné's work has three movements: a Prélude, Sarabande and Finale. Dedicated to the flutist, Louis Fleury, the slow, lyrical Sarabande has his name inscribed under the opening notes as a tribute. As is typical of the French music of the time, the Sonata is light and airy in sound and draws on pastoral themes. A quote from Virgil in the score suggests the use of the flute and cello as individual and intertwining voices. Indeed, the Prélude and the Finale use aspects of fugue form, in which melody and countermelody intertwine and pass among the instruments.
Paul Hoffman's first composition for us is titled Ostinaughty (1996). An ostinato is a musical phrase that is continuously repeated. According to Mr. Hoffman, Ostinaughty is several ostinati that have been very bad! Jazzy in feel, the piece begins with a flute cadenza stating the principal thematic material, characterized by two upward arpeggios played in quick, syncopated bursts. The cello joins in, played pizzicato, only to be interrupted by the piano with the first of several ostinati (this one in 10/16 time). The writing makes use of cello harmonics, glissandi and double stops, and asks the flute player to sing and play simultaneously in a bebop-inspired passage, just before the recapitulation.