Roger Smalley has been a prolific and widely-honoured composer. In addition to his compositional work, he has been a music critic for various publications, a very active conductor, and has held composer-in-residence appointments with universities and symphony orchestras.
The Trio is cast in the traditional fast-slow-fast form. Smalley uses a variety of compositional techniques, including variations, canonic writing, a tone row, and as the composer states, a ‘ghost of a sonata form’ ... The horn writing demands a very accomplished performer. Range, dynamic range, lyrical expressiveness, flexibility, agility, and endurance are essential for a successful performance. Darryl Poulsen has all of these skills, performing with virtuosic assurance. The recorded sound is very clear and natural, and balance between the instruments is excellent. All performances on this disc are exceptionally well done.