Prelude (with bird, cicadas and bells)
Duration: 6 mins
Prelude (with bird, cicadas and bells) shares its instrumentation with Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's Piano Concerto No.24 in C minor, K.491 (minus the solo piano) and Ludwig van Beethoven's Symphony No.4 in Bb Major, and was conceived as a companion piece to these two masterworks. The piece derives nearly all of its musical material from a short figure found in the solo piano part of the Mozart, whilst its often bucolic and sunny character alludes to the fact that Beethoven composed his Fourth Symphony in the countryside, during a summer stay at the palace of his patron, Count Franz von Oppersdorff.
My piece, which is cast in a single movement, can be broadly divided into three main sections. In the first of these an animated introduction of bird or cicada-like chirping in the woodwind precedes a lively and dance-like scherzo in which the work's main melodic ideas are presented. A brief transition (containing further bird-like chirping) then leads us to a tranquil central episode in which languid solo lines played by the horn and trumpet emerge against a backdrop of bell-like sonorities, before a quasi climax - intended to evoke the sound of pealing bells - is heard. The final section is playful in nature, alternating between quick, toccata-like music and reminiscences of earlier moments in the work.
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