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Composed: 1916–17/1978

About this Piece

Excepting a brief flirtation with serialism in the 1950s, Tailleferre remained throughout faithful to her personal style: fresh, lively, and très French. As Darius Milhaud remarked with affectionate awe, the constantly energetic Tailleferre “was always 20 years old.”

This is epitomized in her Piano Trio. Originally composed in the war years 1916–17, it gained scant cultural traction and went unpublished. In 1978, Tailleferre returned to the three-movement work, replacing its second movement and adding a zesty finale. The new music is a bit edgier than the old—more aggressive in rhythm and harmonically spiky—but that is more a matter of deliberate contrast than a change in style. The new composite work, formally balanced and expressively assured, has become one of Tailleferre’s most popular. —John Henken