Jeffrey Ryan
Jeffrey Ryan
Composition Date: 2007
Duration: 00:24:00


Instrumentation Set Number 1:
  • 2 x Flute
  • 2 x Oboe
  • 2 x Clarinet
  • 2 x Bassoon
  • 2 x Horn
  • 2 x Trumpet
  • 1 x Timpani
  • 2 x Percussion
  • 1 x Piano
  • 1 x Violin
  • 1 x Violoncello
  • 1 x Unspecified bowed strings
Instrumentation Set Number 2:
  • 1 x Piano
  • 1 x Violin
  • 1 x Violoncello
  • 1 x Full orchestra
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Programme Note:
The title Equilateral suggests an equilateral triangle--the three equal partners of the solo trio. But the word "equilateral" more generally means "equal-sided" and so, in this concerto, the orchestra is not mere accompaniment but plays an equally important role.
The first movement is subtitled Breathless, and takes as its inspiration the fact that violinists, cellists and pianists don't have to stop playing to breathe. In these six minutes of high energy and racing pulse, the three soloists are treated as one unit, sometimes set against the orchestra, sometimes becoming part of it. In contrast, the contemplative Points of Contact explores ways by which we seek connection, both with others and within our selves. Two texts provide the underlying inspiration. First, a letter written by poet Arthur Rimbaud, in which he seeks publication of his first works and calls out to his creative Muse, is given an Anglican-chant-like rhythmic setting by various sections of the orchestra, while each soloist in turn extemporises above. After a transitional passage, the Hebrew words of the Mourners' Kaddish are set instrumentally for the orchestra, creating the effect of congregational "davening" under a halo of chimes, temple bowls and pedal points. The prayer's final "amen," begun by the orchestra and completed by the piano, leads to the concerto's solo cadenza, a lament on death and loss. This connects directly into the final movement, Serpentine, whose sinuous lines and earthy, primal rhythms close the work with a vibrant affirmation of the dance of life.

Commissioned by: Vancouver Symphony Orchestra

Premiere Information:
02/02/2008 Orpheum Theatre Vancouver, BC Gryphon Trio/Vancouver Symphony Orchestra/Bramwell Tovey


  • Call Number:
  • MI 1419 R988eq
  • Date of Acquisition:
  • July 26, 2010
  • Type:
  • Print-music, Published by CMC
  • Physical Description:
  • 1 score (103 p.) ;
    103 Pages
    Height: 43 cm
  • Additional Information:
  • solo trio (vn, vc, pno)
    Points of Contact
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Equilateral by Jeffrey Ryan (Score)
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Equilateral: Score
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Copies of this work are available for loan from: Toronto