No 1: Allegro moderato
No 2: Lento
No 3: Poco allegretto – Trio: Allegro
No 4: Poco allegro
As has been suggested, it was the linear independence of the madrigal that appealed most to Martinu, and in these four pieces it is exploited to the full. There are passages of imitation, but for the most part the three instruments pursue their own ways towards a conclusion, striking against each other and producing angularities of harmony that recall Stravinsky or, more consistently, the calculated spikiness of Honegger, a composer for whom Martinu entertained the greatest admiration. In spite of the ‘modernities’, however, the music is graceful, cool, and elegantly fashioned throughout.
from notes by Kenneth Dommett & Robert Matthew-Walker © 1998