Preludes Book I (1997, 99)

Howard Bashaw


Commission: Radio Music Department — CBC

  • 1. Emergings: Kaleidoscope
  • 2. Notturnino I
  • 3. Toccatella I
  • 4. at the window…
  • 5. Dita Correnti
  • 6. Toccatella II
  • 7. Notturnino II
  • 8. Boogie Demon — Let’s go

The term prelude has been used flexibly. Even so, it might be stretching things a little to group two small nocturnes (“Notturnino I” and “Notturnino II”), two small toccatas (“Toccatella I” and “Toccatella II”), two character pieces (“At the Window” and “Boogie Demon — Let’s GO”), and two small études (“Emergings: Kaleidoscope” and “Dita Correnti”) into one set of works entitled Preludes. I suppose some might even think it an outright contradiction in terms (that is to say, classifying a work as a prelude and, at the same time, calling it a notturnino or a toccatella). I didn’t — so I did. Semantics aside, all eight preludes comprising the collection were composed according to one set of objectives: clarity of idea; transparency in form; (relative) brevity in overall duration; distinctive use of the piano; and consistency in mood, atmosphere or texture. Despite their variety of forms, styles and tide, then, these preludes share characteristics that distinguish well-known works also called preludes; take, for example, those by Debussy, Chopin, or even J.-S. Bach.

Preludes was commissioned through The CBC Radio Music Department.

  • Recording: CD: Arktos 20039/40