Reprinted from yesterday's late editions.
Music for the combination of flute, oboe and cello is an interesting idea but almost nonexistent, and that may explainwho the Huntingdon Trio (Diane Gold, flute; Lloyd Smith, cello; Rheta; Smith, oboe) gave so many pre-micro performances Sunday night at the National Gallery. To a very large extent, these artists are faced with the task of procuring and developing a repertoire for their combination of instruments.
Five of the six works on the program were composed for the Huntingdon Trio, and they were able to play the sixth, Ned Rorem's 1960 Trio for flute, cello and piano, only because oboist Smith is also a pianist - and quite a good one by the available evidence.
Rorem's was the most powerful piece on the program, partly because he is one of the most able living composers but also because the piano gave him more varied resources to work with. There also was eloquence in Larry Nelson's "Poem of Soft Music" for the same combination of instruments, the other work not receiving a premiere. Lani Smith's "Reflections," the third work using the piano, was intelligently playful.
Of the three works without piano, the most interesting was a set of brief, virtuosic and well-varied etudes by Burill Phillips, "Huntingdon Twos and Threes." Sam dennison's impressionistic "Cirrus" and David Loeb's succinct, atonal "Four Nocturnes" were relatively insubstantial but showed some of the variety available in this unusual combination of instruments.