Triad IV, Op. 12

scoring: flute (+alto flute, piccolo), two percussion and tape
duration: 13 1/2 minutes
composed: 1969

dedication:

commissioned:
published: Novello

status: Available for performance


performances:

Broadcast on BBC Radio 3, Wednesday 21 January 1970 22.05
Judith Pearce, flutes

No live performance known

recordings:

BBC recording above


programme note:

In Triad IV, for flutes with two percussion players, the idea of instrumental and formal relationships in triplicate, so to speak, is carried a stage further than in earlier pieces in the Triad series. Here use is made of recorded sounds of the players in conjunction with live performance, in a kind of trompe oreille effect, which adds a dimension to the spatial aspect of the music. It was written for Judith Pearce and pays tribute to her playing not only of the flute, but of the auxiliary instruments: alto flute and piccolo. Here again, the idea of a triad of relationships is further explored.

The piece itself is in three sections. Unlike its immediate predecessor in the series, Triad IV is essentially mono-thematic: similar music is used in various transformations and variations throughout the piece. For example, the opening material is used in the second section in a kind of fugato in which the live and recorded portions are heard in sharp juxtaposition. This fugato makes a second appearance at the end of the movement, in yet another disguise, becoming much faster and finally disappearing into thin air. The last section opens with a sudden eruption of sound in which the total forces are used simultaneously for the only time in the whole piece. And the substance of the music is taken up with a triple repetition in the manner of a chorale, of the flute material heard at the beginning of the work. First, all three flutes play it; then the flute and alto; and finally it is played by flute alone in such a way as to reveal its identity with the music of the opening, and so to emphasise the circular nature of the piece.

Justin Connolly

reviews:

other comments:

The score contains the taped portions as well as the live portions, but no tape survives and the modern performer would have to record one for themselves.


sources:

Programme note based on Connolly's script for the BBC broadcast listed above. No other programme note found so far.

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