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The genesis of this work was in 2004 when I encountered a professional trio who performed the few works written for this unusual combination, but it was not completed until 2009, when it was performed in a concert organised by London Composers Forum.
The form of the work arose, like those of movements of some of my longer instrumental works, from an interest in trying to build a structure from alternating slow and fast sections of music. Beethoven pioneered this method in such pieces as the opening movements of the ‘Tempest’ and ‘Pathetique’ piano sonatas. The challenge of this approach is of course to maintain a sense of unity and musical direction despite the disparity of tempi. The combination of piano with two wind instruments that occupy a similar pitch-space but have very different timbres creates its own challenge to write interestingly and characteristically for them knowing that each will always be heard as an individual voice.
The piece was first performed by Sharon Moloney (flute), Isobel Williams (oboe) and Catherine Herriott (piano) on 9 May 2009.