A woodwind trio

Pierre-Octave Ferroud: Trio a vent en mi

Ferroud was a French composer who wrote this trio for oboe, clarinet and bassoon in Paris in 1937.  I like the combination of instruments together – the oboe and bassoon have a similar timbre but provide a contrast in pitch, and the clarinet has a different quality of sound which adds another colour.

The first movement is quite playful with lots of fast runs and grace notes.  It has a cheeky ending with a bar’s rest to build up the anticipation followed by a single, loud staccato note played in unison.

The second movement is in 2/2 and starts with a walking crotchet bass line in the bassoon which then moves to the clarinet, but played upside down.  The feeling of steady movement is maintained throughout the piece; usually one of the instruments is playing a continuous line of crotchets or quavers and the phrases indicated in the score are also quite long.

The third movement is again fast paced (indicated interestingly in the score as ‘quasi presto’ – seemingly fast?), with two of the instruments always providing a driving rhythm on the main beats of the bar.  The emphasis is on the second beat, shown in the score as a tenuto rather than an accent.


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