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Four Preludes

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Robert Russell Bennett

Robert Russell Bennett

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General Info

Year: 1974
Duration: c. 12:40
Difficulty: (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Alfred Publishing Co.
Cost: Score and Parts – Out of print

For availability information, see Discussion tab, above.


1. George – 2:40
2. Vincent – 3:15
3. Cole – 2:55
4. Jerome – 3:10


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None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

Robert Russell Bennett paid tribute to the friends and colleagues who had been so supportive, particularly in the early stages of his career, with Four Preludes. Written in 1974, the work was premiered in 1978 by the Goldman Band, probably under the direction of Ainslee Cox, a conductor of the band from 1964 to 1988.

George (Gershwin) captures the flavor of An American in Paris or the finale of Rhapsody in Blue through an angular melody set over insistent eighth notes, as does the quirky recurring clarinet solo.

Vincent (Youmans), with a light swing feel, pits a jazzy first theme against a more expressive second theme. The movement also quotes Tchaikovsky, one of Bennett's favorite composers. Bennett's "salutation" theme, lush and nostalgic in George, becomes snappy and businesslike for "Vincent."

In the third prelude, Bennett pays a reflective tribute to Cole (Porter) with a warm English horn solo followed by a melancholy trumpet. Short motifs develop into an opulent tutti prior to the conclusion. With the marking "tragic," this salutation ends on a wistful note.

The splashy introduction of Jerome (Kern) stands in marked contrast, as a clarinet choir leads the way through a vivid tarantella. Although longer than the other salutations, this farewell carries a sense of temporary, rather than permanent, separation from a good friend.

- Program Note from liner notes of Altissimo! CD The Legacy of Robert Russell Bennett, U.S. Army Field Band


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


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