Pierre-Octave Ferroud may not ring any bells, and his music is largely forgotten. But in the early part of the 20th century he was one of the most bright and promising lights in French music circles, and was a close friend of fellow composer Florent Schmitt. He composed numerous works during his short life (1900-1936), including several large Orchestral pieces. He was a skilled contrapuntist, vigorous orchestrator, and his Symphonic poems were much admired during his lifetime. He sought to familiarize the French musical community with the evolution of music in Central Europe.
The Trio for Woodwinds, as well as his Symphony in A, the Chamber works, including his Quartet, mark his intense interest in what were then new modes of expression.
Sadly, Ferroud died in 1936, the result of injuries from a car accident. The world didn’t get a chance to hear what might have been or what Ferroud was capable of producing later in his life.
This Trio for Woodwinds, performed by Maxence Larrieu, flute, Gaston Maugras, oboe and Claude Desurmont, clarinet was recorded for the ORTF in Paris in 1963. Whether or not this performance has survived is anyone’s guess. Several of his works have been recorded recently, including the Symphony in A and Serenade as well as a collection of Flute Music for the Naxos label.
So perhaps there is some rediscovery going on – certainly someone whose work would should have some attention drawn to it. Unfortunately, there are so many composers, not only here in the U.S. but especially in Europe, who have gone neglected or unnoticed over the years. It’s difficult to keep track of them all. But thankfully, there are those musicologists who dig and discover lost gems – and the music of Pierre-Octave Ferroud may be some of them.