Piano Trio No.3 in A Major, Op.134
Paul Lacombe's Piano Trio No.3 in A Major dates from 1909 and is one of his last chamber music compositions. The opening movement, Modéré, begins in lyrical fashion with the cello and then the violin introducing and developing the somewhat sad and languid theme with its searching mood and impressionist tonalities. The second movement, Lento ma espressivo, might be styled a romance, highly lyrical, the tonalities are perhaps a little more conservative to fit the vocal style of the melodies. The slower, the mood is surprisingly similar to that of the opening movement. The third movement is a charming Allegretto while the finale, Allegro begins in triumphant fashion with a local folk dance melody. Modern tonal developments mix with folkloric elements to create a fresh effect.
Paul Lacombe (1837-1927) was born in the town of Carcassonne located in the far south of France in the province of Occitan. He began to study piano with his mother and then entered the local conservatory. Subsequently, Lacombe studied composition with Bizet for two years by means of correspondence. Through the efforts of Bizet and Lalo, both of whom admired his music, his compositions were performed in Paris. Though Lacombe's music was well appreciated among fellow composers and musicians, it never gained a widespread popularity as he was not willing to leave his hometown of Carcassonne for Paris. A prolific composer with more than 150 works, including a fair amount of chamber music, which was composed during two distinct periods. The first from the late 1860s into the mid 1870s reflects the influence of Mendelssohn and Schumann. The second period from the late 1890s through the first decade of the 20th century shows him to be au courant with the recent developments of the impressionist movement. In 1887 he was awarded Prix Chartier for his chamber music by the Académie des Beaux-Arts, of which he subsequently became a member.He was made a Chevalier of the Légion d'honneur in 1902.
Long out of print, this fine work deserves to be heard in concert and amateurs will certainly appreciate the fact that this fine work presents no real technical difficulties.