Contact Trio Apaches
1.) ruffian or hooligan
2.) the name adopted by a group of 'artistic outcasts', including Ravel and Stravinsky, in the early 1900s
French A-pash [noun]
by Claude Debussy, arranged for piano trio by Sally Beamish
The initial idea to commission Sally Beamish to transcribe a trio version of Debussy's La Mer emerged from speculative discussion that took place during a car journey at the 2012 Lincolnshire International Chamber Music Festival, very shortly after we'd officially decided to form Trio Apaches. We were a little nervous when we first broached the idea with Sally - surely the notion of arranging a piece so famous for its orchestral colour would be laughed out of town? - but, with a little work, we persuaded her to take the plunge (forgive the pun). Even then, we didn't expect it to work within the timeframe we'd set for ourselves, but Sally amazed us by making space in her frantic schedule to produce her transcription within 12 months.
And what a work it is! She's managed to create something that's taken a life of its own; one that both complements the original score and also communicates entirely independently of it. We met with her in July 2013 to work through the first draft, suggesting alterations here and there, and gave the world premiere at LICMF 2013 on August 16th. The audience reaction proved what we already knew - that we'd struck gold with this particular combination of piece and arranger. Since then we've performed it numerous times and we're utterly convinced it'll become a staple part of the trio repertoire. Well, it will once our period of exclusivity has expired, that is.
Transcribing La Mer
In June 2014, long after Sally had finished her work on La Mer, Ash sat down with her to reflect on the challenges of transcribing such a well-loved masterpiece. Here's an extract from their conversation:
Performing La Mer
Earlier this year we performed La Mer as part of a coffee concert at St. George's in Bristol, the venue at which our CD was recorded. We made a fun little film to document the occasion:
The Grand Hotel, Eastbourne
Much of La Mer (in its original form) was composed while Debussy was staying at the Grand Hotel in Eastbourne. The hotel now has a suite named after him and Tom just had to pay a visit. Click on the photo of Debussy taken at the Grand Hotel in 1905 to see his film: