for SATB Recorders
History and Performance Notes
The main interest in this Prelude & Fugue pairing is the contrast between the Crunchy Prelude (stiff, square, and tense) and the Smooth Fugue (relaxed, swingy and round). The Prelude requires the players to keep focused or else their mind will wander because of the repetitiveness of the rhythmic figure. Resist the temptation! If the Prelude is played at a fast enough tempo, the music will roll itself along. Anything slower and it will get bogged down with itself. The bass part is most important in keeping the momentum; play on the "front" of the beat and always be ready with the next note. Those quarter rests are not nap time, they are filled with the upper voices' notes.
The Prelude opens with the lower three parts setting the stage the first time through for the top part to come in at the repeat. The turnarounds at the end of each section must be slurred as written for maximum effect. Please slur them!
Section A is a repeat of the opening bit, except the Soprano and Tenor provide the rhythms while the Alto has the melody, an octave lower than before.
At section B, it's time for the Tenor to take over. In this section, play the long notes as a real melody soaring above the rhythmic parts, but then step back and join them when you get the rhythms. Then step forward again with the next melodic line. Everyone comes together rhythmically for the first time briefly at Bar 51, so be ready for that.
The Fugue has been described as "totally cool- integrated like a clock and swingingly well written." Even though many things happen right when you expect them to, there are always some surprises lurking. A good sense of swing is also critical to presenting this piece correctly to the audience.
Performed at Arlington Community Church, Kensington CA, August 2006