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Prelude & Fugue No 1
for SSATB Recorders
History and Performance Notes
I originally wrote this piece for a quartet which I had recently joined to make a quintet. There was a large spectrum of skill levels in the group- three only wanted to play tenor, and the fourth was the only one who knew F-fingerings. So I put this piece together to showcase myself on the Alto. We performed it at the annual Members Recital, held by the East Bay Recorder Society every Spring. I have the video of this- it is painful to watch, but we had fun.
Then I heard about the Chicago Chapter's Composition Competition and decided to re-work a lot of it and enter. I broke up the longer phrases and sprinkled them liberally around the circle, even giving some bits to the Bass. The folks in Chicago loved it and in March of 1998 it was performed with the rest of the winning pieces.
In performing this work, it is generally preferred to play with shorter notes to give it more lift. The second edition employs staccato markings to help the players perform the notes more closely to how I want them.
The rhythmic opening of the Prelude is inspired by one of Mozart's wind serenades. Not the same notes, but the same rhythms. (Nothing is new, you know.) Play this Prelude with vitality, vim and vigor!
The Fugue subject is one I started playing around with when I was back at Cornell in the late '80s. I had written a completely different (and still unfinished) fugue for keyboard on the same subject, and for the recorder group I thought I'd take another crack at it from scratch. Some of the things in the final recorder version are found in the keyboard version too.
Winning in Chicago, 1997
Performed at Arlington Community Church, Kensington CA, August 2006