In contrast to the first two piano trios, Catalan Tales began as an exploration of the medium itself, although as ever, it speaks of life with all its joy and pain. Each of the five movements found a beginning in a painting by Joan Miró and gained musical impetus thereafter. With every movement lasting under five minutes, the formal approaches are free and individual.
The language is by turns dark and light, and sonority is more of a concern than previously. Lyrical, mobile movements ("Birds in space"; "Dancer") are balanced by more static ones ("The hope of someone sentenced to death"), and the whole is about searching for a sense of human experience, rather than a musical realization of wonderful paintings.
Catalan Tales is Ian Wilson’s third confrontation with the piano trio genre. The title points toward the great Catalan painter Joan Miró, whose art inspired the music. Each of the five movements refers to a certain painting, although it was not Wilson’s intention to render them in music; his objective was to seek the meaning of human existence in his music.