With this program by the exquisite Poulenc Trio, we present, for the first time in our Series’ 77-year history, an ensemble that combines piano, oboe, and bassoon. The Trio, characterized by the Washington Post as “urbane and sophisticated with near-effortless lightness and grace,” has greatly expanded the repertoire available for this unusual instrumentation, with more than 20 new works having been produced for them.
Their program begins with their signature piece, the Poulenc Trio; and later it centrally locates the Poulenc Oboe Sonata. Between these two are pieces that have been written for them – combining an expanded timbral palette and an unorthodox approach to structure, tempered by a deep love of functional tonality, counterpoint, and classical form. There follows the rarely heard, wistful Bassoon Sonata of Saint Saens – the composer Ravel told the young Poulenc he should study. The program concludes, appropriately, with a Rossini showcase for this particular and engaging ensemble.