Trio da camera
In spring 2016 I found myself writing an “outdoor” trio for brass. When the intrepid amateur oboist and acoustician David Braslau expressed interest in commissioning a chamber work for oboe, my thoughts went indoors, to a three-movement work for oboe, horn and piano.There is a small but vital repertoire for the combination, including a fine Trio, Opus 188 by Carl Reinecke.
David’s advice to me: “I like melody.” Allegro rustico begins in irregular meters, but settles into a gently lyrical second subject. After a brief, contentious development, the irregularities are swept up in a tornadic coda. Largo solennelle is a stately sarabande, with the wind players finishing each other’s sentences. Allegro amabile contrasts three ideas: an expansive lyrical solo line; a descending scalar melody; and a jocular tune that features hunting-horn fifths. Quotations from two famous works bring the the work to a high-spirited conclusion. Why the quotations? Who doesn’t need a little practice on iconic licks from The Rite of Spring or Le tombeau de Couperin? And how often does one get to perform these works in their native habitat?