I had always wanted to write a horn trio. The Brahms and Ligeti Trios, much admired by me amongst countless others, stand as benchmarks for inspirational chamber music, and when commissioned by two dear American friends, Estelle and Morton Sosland, to write something for their Diamond Wedding celebrations, I realised that the ensemble of violin, horn and piano was perfectly suited to the occasion. These instruments seem uncannily to encompass male and female elements, and I could see how duologues between the male horn and female violin, with intermediary piano could pay a gracious tribute to this marvellous couple. Incidentally, I was especially proud to discover that the long horn and violin solos in the central slow section could later be combined in perfect counterpoint - aptly symbolising marital harmony.
The work's single movement employs basic elements of traditional symphonic structures - aspects of sonata, ternary and rondo forms, expository and developmental processes. But they undercut each other in ways that frequently cover those traces. I later became aware that Schoenberg's First Chamber Symphony and Sibelius's Seventh Symphony loomed over the work.
© Anthony Payne.