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The Grand Trio for Violin, Guitar and Cello had not been performed for more than a century

When Jorge Torres found the piece tucked away in the Library of Congress a number of years ago, it hadn’t been performed anywhere for a century or more. Torres, associate professor of music, decided that it should be heard.

The piece is a classical period arrangement of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Grand Trio, one of the six “Palatine” sonatas he wrote while living in Paris in 1778. Mozart wrote the piece for violin and piano. It was later arranged by French music publisher and guitarist Pierre Jean Porro for guitar, violin, and cello in the early 19th century. It is Porro’s trio arrangement that caught the attention of Torres.

“After researching the piece, I realized that it–as a trio arrangement for guitar, violin, and cello–had never been published since Porro, and that the Library of Congress version was most likely the only extant version of this arrangement. This means that there have been few, if any, performances of the piece since that period, and certainly none in the last century,” he says.

Clear Note Publications published Torres’ edited version this year, making it available for other musicians to perform.

Torres first performed the piece with violinist Stephani Bell, director of orchestra and string ensemble, and cellist David Moulton at the Williams Center for the Arts in 2005.  It was performed again at the recent music faculty recital with Bell and cellist Betty Tang, part-time music instructor. Torres played guitar in both performances.  Later this year, he will perform the trio at a meeting of the College Music Society.

This isn’t the first piece of music by a master composer that Torres has published. In 2007, he and flutist Rebecca Stuhr published an arrangement for guitar and flute of Six Gnossiennes by French composer Erik Satie. The publication by the Trillenium Music Company is unique because all six pieces have never been transcribed and published as a set for flute and guitar.

Torres’ current research focuses on editing and compiling The Greenwood Encyclopedia of Latin American Popular Music. He has enlisted the help of a number of students in the project including music and philosophy graduate Ray Epstein ’09 and English major Caitlin Lowery ’11 (Aldan, Pa.).

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