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The Huntingdon Trio

Carl Czerny's Fantasia Concertante, Op. 256, for piano, flute, and cello dates from about 1830 and is a facile yet engaging example of early nineteenth-century musical fashion in Vienna. The thematic material, operatic in inspiration if not origin, is treated idiomatically throughout and given a particularly brilliant presentation in the variations near the conclusion of the piece.

Eugene Goossens' Five Impressions of a Holiday, Op. 7, an early work, was influenced considerably by Debussy and other French composers of the time, as evidenced by a concern with expanded harmonies and the timbral capabilities of the instruments. Composed in 1914, the work is a set of genre pieces, each of which provides a kind of musical snapshot of different holiday experiences. The technical demands Goossens places on the performers are considerable, yet from the terraced motive and rising and falling arpeggios of the first piece to the frolicsome tempo and rollicking rhythms of the last, the listener is aware only of the felicitous, evocative nature of the music itself.

Arthur Foote was among the first of America's eminent composers to receive his formal musical education entirely in this country. It remains to be determined, however, what effect, if any, Foote's wholly indigenous training may have had upon his efforts as a performer, teachers and composer. Indeed, many of Foote's compositions betray the influence of German romanticism in their harmonic language and structural design. Though lighter in style, these three character pieces, appealing for their rhythmic clarity and lyricism, nevertheless are illustrative of Foote's conservatism as a composer.

Katherine Hoover's Lyric Trio was commissioned by the Huntingdon Trio in 1984. The long first movement has two main ideas--one energetic and rhythmic, the other lyric. Most of the movement concerns the interweaving of these ideas, with two dreamlike interpolations. The second movement is a melodious serenade, while the third is a perpetual motion with overtones of jazz, odd sounds, and references to the first movement.

With the exception of some early student efforts, Gustav Holst's Terzetto for flute, oboe, and viola stands as the only chamber music Holst composed. It is notable for its simultaneous presentation of three different keys. The work consists of two short movements, the first lyrical and the second in the manner of a scherzo with contrasting fugato and meno mosso sections. About this piece Holst's daughter, Imogen Holst, noted the following in her book The Music of Gustav Holst (London, 1951): "The Terzetto in three keys baffled several distinguished musicians who heard it when it was first tried through in 1925. Even Holst himself was not quite sure whether it was real music or not; he had to listen to it several times before he could make up his mind about it. In 1945 it was warmly welcomed by listeners in the depths of the country who had not yet been faced with the necessity of learning their key signatures." The Terzetto has also been arranged for flute, oboe and clarinet; The Huntingdon Trio has adapted the work for their own instruments.

Thea Musgrave's Impromptu No. 1 for flute and oboe was written in 1967. The composer describes the piece as follows: "It is a short work and, as its title implies, lighthearted. The music grows out of a very short idea heard at the outset. Each time this motive returns there is a different continuation. The final coda, marked as fast as possible, brings the work to a virtuosic close."

-Mary Craford



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