KOECHLIN Charles, Trio for Oboe, Clarinet and Bassoon
Charles Koechlin was an extremely prolific composer, but much of his music remains to be rediscovered. A pupil of Fauré, he was on friendly terms with many of his contemporaries including Ravel and Debussy, and for a time he served as a kind of mentor to Poulenc. His ‘Trio d’anches’ – Trio for reed instruments – was completed in December 1945 and first performed in a French Radio broadcast on 3 May 1946, played by Paul Taillefer (oboe), André Dupont (clarinet) and André Gaby (bassoon). The first movement is slow-moving and serious and it is followed by a spiky Allegro, its main theme introduced by the solo bassoon and then taken up in imitation, first by the oboe, then the clarinet. The Andante begins with the oboe alone, playing a lyrical idea which dominates the movement. The fast finale is playful in mood and technically demanding with rapid scales and angular rhythms, rushing to an exciting close where all three instruments play together in octaves.
© Nigel Simeone