Trio sur des mélodies populaires irlandaises
Trio on Irish Folk Tunes

Year of composition




Scored for

violin, cello and piano
I. Allegro moderato II. Adagio III. Gigue

Publication information

Hug Musikverlage (GH 7160)


The Trio on Irish Folk Tunes was written in 1925 at Capbreton, Les Landes. Using the rich musical ideas of Irish folklore, the composer has tried to keep as close as possible to its particular characteristics. He has avoided any changes to the melodies by using each one in its entirety and not adding any harmonies that could alter the original atmosphere. That is to say, there is no development, in the classical meaning of the term, in this trio.
The composer has chosen rhythm as the principal element of musical form and has used rhythmic combinations to enrich his musical language.
The first movement is entirely based on a rhythmic progression, using accelerando in successive stages. Each entry of a new musical thought is announced by a slightly faster tempo. In this movement there is hardly any reappearance of themes; its unity is ensured by rhythmic relationships between the various melodies.
In the second movement, thematic unity is achieved by repeating a melody given to the cello. This melody reoccurs identically, in the same register and the same key, supported by a constantly changing melodic and rhythmic basis.
The third movement, gigue, no longer uses accelerando for progression but superimposes various motifs, giving a wealth of rhythmic details. We can perceive here, more than elsewhere, the metric independence of each voice of the trio.
In conclusion, harmony and the polyphonic principle of imitation are not challenging in this trio. All the more so the rhythm and melody that are at the core of Irish song and dance.

In: Schweizerische Musikzeitung 1930, Heft 11.


World premiere: Paris, April 1926, with Frank Martin at the piano

Recordings (selective list)

  • Delta Piano Trio - ‘Origin’
    Gerard Spronk, violin; Irene Enzlin, cello; Vera Kooper, piano
    Challenge Classics ℗ + © 2022

  • Jacob Olie Trio - ‘Travellers’
    Diet Tilanus, violin; Jurrian van der Zanden, cello; Jacobus den Herder, piano
    Etcetera Classics KTC 1796 ℗ + © 2023

  • Chekhov Trio
    Fem Devos, piano; Emma Rhebergen, violin; Anna Litvinenko, cello
    Quintessence BVBA ℗ + © 2022

  • Hanni Schmid-Wyss, piano
    Die Kammermusiker Zürich
    Jecklin-Disco JD 646-2 ℗ + © 1990 (FMS009)

  • ‘Frank Martin - Musique de chambre’
    Armène Stakian, violin; Pascal Desarzens, cello; Daniel Fuchs, piano
    Musiques Suisses MGB CD 6241 ℗ + © 2006 (FMS090)

  • Osiris Trio
    Peter Brunt, violin; Larissa Groeneveld; cello; Ellen Corver, piano
    Channel Classiscs CCS 13098 ℗ + © 1998 (FMS119)

  • ‘Juon - Martin - Schnyder . Klaviertrios’
    Schweizer Klaviertrio
    Angela Golubeva, violin; Sébastien Singer, cello; Martin Lucas Staub, piano
    Musiques Suisses MGB CD6215 ℗ + © 2004 (FMS093)

  • Rodin Pianotrio
    Anna van Nieukerken, piano; Sophia Torrenga, violin; Sanne van der Horst, cello
    Rodin Pianotrio CD01-Stemra/C12611 ℗ + © 2007 (FMS048)

  • Trio Caleidoscopio
    Primoš Novšak, violin; Thomas Grossenbacher, cello; Keiko Tamura, piano
    CDsAP 031011 ℗ + © 2003 (FMS124)

  • Guarneri Trio
    Danièle Dechenne, piano; Eva Koskinen, violin; Jean Decroos, cello
    Ottavo OTR C28922 © 1990 (FMS125)

  • Grieg Trio
    Solve Sigerland, violin; Vebjørn Anvik, piano; Ellen Margrete Flesjø, cello
    SIMAX Classics PSC 1147 ℗ + © 1999 (FMS136)

  • Borodin Trio
    Luba Edlina, piano; Rotislav Dubinsky, violin; Yuli Turovsky, cello
    CHANDOS CHAN 9016 ℗ + © 1992 (FMS173)

  • Altenberg Trio Wien
    ‘Piano Trios from France’
    Claus-Christian Schuster, piano; Amiram Gamnz, violin; Martin Hornstein, cello
    Vanguard Classics 99164 ℗ 1997 + © 1998 (FMS174)

  • Trio Musiviva
    Patrick Genet, violin; Marc Jaermann, cello; Philippe Dinkel, piano
    GALLO CD-633 ℗ + © 1991 (FMS182)

  • Leibniz Trio
    ‘Genuin 2011’

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