SOULS IN TRANSITIONS
Beginning with just the spark to write three trios, composer Carl Vollrath created an intense yet reflective collection of works in SOULS IN TRANSITIONS. This Navona Records release moves through waves of contemplation on life, history, and the evolution of spirituality through the performances of violin, cello, and piano by acclaimed pianist Karolina Rojahn.
After a colleague of Vollrath’s at Troy University listened to the pieces, he told the composer that the first Trio reminded him of images he had seen of ancient Peruvian cave paintings. Indeed, the moments of intensity paired with thoughtfulness in the first movement conjure up a feeling of awe, much like one might have when viewing these paintings created by hands thousands of years gone. Repeating motives with subtle differences, sometimes presenting deep, resonant tones in the lower registers of the strings, other times presenting brisk pizzicato, slurred runs, and climbs to the height of each instrument’s voice, all form a sense of wonder and mystery.
Trios II and III act in much the same way. Trio II is inspired by the ancient Egyptian ritual of bringing food to tombs to give meals to the deceased on their journey to the afterlife, with the idea being that the dead are not really gone but rather are in another place. Trio III looks into the Buddhist faith, reflecting on its extensive history and considering how religion evolves just as man does.
Between Vollrath’s balance of intensity and contemplation in his writing, and the dynamic performances of virtuoso Rojahn and the Summa Trio, SOULS IN TRANSITIONS is a moving performance that demonstrates the power of musical motives and the piano trio.