A clarinet-viola-piano trio, often titled "Trio for Clarinet, Viola and Piano" is a work of chamber music that is scored for three musicians: one clarinet, one viola, and one piano; or is a the designation for a musical ensemble of such a group.
This combination of instruments differs from the traditional piano trio instrumentation, i.e. piano, violin and violoncello, and from the clarinet-violin-piano trio and the clarinet-cello-piano trio by the fact that the viola and the clarinet share roughly the same range. The combination of viola and clarinet is thus distinguished by the timbre (tone quality or colour) of the instruments rather than register (high versus low ranges, like violin compared with cello).
Austrian composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756–1791) was the first to write for this combination of instruments with his "Kegelstatt" Trio, K.498 (1786). The Trio, along with his subsequent Clarinet Quintet, K.581 (1789) and Clarinet Concerto, K.622 (1791) were written at a time when the clarinet was a relatively newly invented instrument. These three compositions, which feature the clarinet, were largely responsible for popularizing the instrument's use in chamber and orchestral works. German composers Robert Schumann (1810–1856) and Max Bruch (1838–1920) also wrote notable works for this trio combination.
Works scored for clarinet, viola, and piano have gained increasing popularity in the modern era. The repertoire includes:
- Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Trio in E♭ major "Kegelstatt", KV 498 (1786)
- Robert Schumann: Märchenerzählungen (Fairy Tales), 4 Pieces, Op. 132 (1853)
- Carl Reinecke: Trio in A major, Op. 264 (c.1903)
- Max Bruch: 8 Stücke (8 Pieces), Op. 83 (1910)
- Johan Amberg: Fantasistykke (Fantasy Pieces), Op. 12 (1910)
- Julius Röntgen: Trio in E♭ major (1921)
- Leo Smit: Trio (1938)
- Heinrich Kaspar Schmid: Trio, Op. 114 (1944)
- Leslie Bassett: Trio (1953)
- Gordon Jacob: Trio (1969)
- Theodoros Karyotakis: Trio (1969)
- Jean Françaix: Trio (1990)
- John Woolrich: A Farewell (1992)
- Nicolas Bacri: Trio "American Letters" (1994)
- Milton Babbitt: Triad (1994)
- Richard Stoker: Terzetto, Op. 32 (1996)
- Franklin Stover: Two Pieces (1996)
- Elliott Schwartz: Vienna Dreams (1998)
- Roger Smalley: Trio (1992–1999)
- Thierry Escaich: "American Trio" (2002)
- Kalevi Aho: Trio (2006)
- Philippe Hersant: Six Bagatelles (2007)
- Nigel Keay: Trio in Four Movements "Adagietto Antique" (2009)
- Huw Watkins: Speak Seven Seas (2011)
- Juan Maria Solare: Sale con fritas (2005–2012)
- Seung Ha You: Trio "Réflexion sur la mort à Claus-Christian Schuster", Op. 2d (2011–2012)
- Gyorgy Kurtag: Trio "Hommage à Schumann"
- Matthus: Wasserspiele
- Brett Dean: Night Window
- Rudolf Escher: Trio
- Rina Furano: Trio No. 2 in G major
- Howard J. Buss: Reverie (1992)
Arrangements of concerti
Although not originally intended as a chamber music work, the works of several composers who have written concerti for viola and clarinet have been arranged for a trio with a the orchestral part condensed and arranged for piano. Notably, the Double Concerto for viola, clarinet and orchestra, Op. 88 (1911) of Max Bruch has been arranged for viola, clarinet and piano. Other concertos with these solo instruments include a concerto by Aulis Sallinen and Alternatim (1997) by Luciano Berio.