Triad III, Op. 8

scoring: oboe, viola and cello
duration: 17'
composed: 1966

dedication: to the Vesuvius Ensemble

published: Novello/Wise Music

status: available for performance


First performed 8 December 1967 in the Wigmore Hall, London by members of the Vesuvius Ensemble (SPNM)
repeated by the same performers on 20 January 1968, University of Swansea (SPNM)


recorded by the Vesuvius Ensemble (Janet Craxton, oboe Brian Hawkins, viola Charles Tunnell, cello) on CD Lyrita LY0305 (2008); originally release on LP Argo ZRG 747 (1973)

programme note:

Triad III is one of a number of pieces which are musically distinct from one another, yet share certain formal characteristics. Each is in three main sections, and each uses combinations of three instruments not normally found in the classic trio repertoire, hence the title 'Triad'.

In the present work the dominance of the oboe is counteracted by the strings, who extend and comment upon the oboe line in such a way as sometimes to suggest an exchange of roles; only rarely is the music in the form of an accompanied solo.

The form of musical discourse, with its constant changes of focus in the outer movements, suggests a multi-dimensional kind of experience, as where one looks at a sculpture from different and complementary angles; the material remains similar but is seen in a new light, subject to a 'modelling' process whereby shapes are perceived as having a greater or lesser sharpness of profile.

Justin Connolly


LP reviews:
The Musical Times, Apr., 1974, Vol. 115, No. 1574 (Apr., 1974), pp. 308
Tempo, No. 109 (Jun., 1974), pp. 48

other comments:


Programme note: Novello files.
Date: Programme note says 1967, other sources 1966