Second Prelude

From Wind Repertory Project
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George Gershwin

George Gershwin (arr. John Krance)

Subtitle: From Three Preludes

General Info

Year: 1927 / 1964
Duration: c. 4:20
Difficulty: III (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Masters Music
Cost: Score and Parts - $50.00   |   Score Only - $5.00


C Piccolo
Flute I-II
Oboe I-II
Bassoon I-II
E-flat Soprano Clarinet
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
E-flat Alto Clarinet
B-flat Bass Clarinet
E-flat Alto Saxophone I-II
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
B-flat Cornet I-II-III
B-flat Trumpet I-II
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II-III
String Bass
Percussion, including:

  • Orchestra Bells
  • Snare Drum
  • Suspended Cymbal
  • Tam-tam


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

This very popular and familiar prelude is the second of Gershwin's three preludes for piano. John Krance's colorful arrangement defies the belief that piano music cannot be transcribed well for the concert band. The arranger makes excellent use of the variety inherent in the band with several solo passages and an emphasis on the low-reed register.

- Program Note from Program Notes for Band

The second prelude is “a sort of blues lullaby” according to Gershwin. Beginning with a contemplative bass line, other voices join with a slinking. bluesy melody, continuing with the melancholy mood in a higher register. The piece is punctuated by a short middle section that uses brighter musical material before falling back into the wondering bass ostinato leading to a rather unassuming ending.

- Program Note from Aledo High School Wind Ensemble concert program, 12 February 2016

Gershwin’s Three Preludes are short piano pieces, first performed by the composer at the Roosevelt Hotel in New York in 1926. Gershwin originally planned to compose twenty-four preludes, but this number was reduced to five in public performance and further decreased to three when they were first published. In the second prelude, Gershwin invokes his Jewish heritage as an almost Yiddish melody floats over gentle, undulating accompaniment -- a twelve-bar blues form -- whose delicacy recalls the piano music of Chopin. The melody is repeated in a second chorus of the blues form, followed by a bridge in a brighter, major key. The initial theme returns, dissipating as though entering a quiet sleep. Gershwin referred to the piece as “a sort of blues lullaby.” This wind arrangement -- published in 1965 -- was arranged by John Krance, who embarked to capture the mood and beauty of the original piano score.

- Program Note from Baylor University Wind Ensemble concert program, 23 October 2018


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • United States Coast Guard Band (New London, Conn.) (Adam Williamson, conductor) - 15 October 2023
  • Naperville (Ill.) Winds (Sean Kelley, conductor) - 23 February 2023
  • West Virginia University (Morgantown) Wind Symphony (Scott C. Tobias, conductor) - 26 April 2022
  • Brigham Young University (Provo, Utah) Symphonic Band (Kirt Saville, conductor) - 31 March 2021
  • University of Oregon (Eugene) Wind Ensemble (David M. Jacobs, conductor) – 4 December 2019
  • Colorado State University (Fort Collins) Wind Symphony (Rebecca Phillips, conductor) – 10 October 2019
  • University of Southern Mississippi (Hattiesburg) Concert Band (Colin MacKenzie, conductor) – 7 October 2019
  • Southwest Baptist University (Bolivar, Mo.) Wind Symphony (Brian Hopwood, conductor) – 25 April 2019
  • Northwestern University (Evanston, Ill.) Symphonic Band (Shawn Vondran, conductor) – 8 February 2019
  • University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point Symphonic Wind Ensemble (Michael Butler, conductor; John Tengowski, piano) – 5 December 2018
  • Madison (Wisc.) Wind Ensemble – 4 November 2018
  • Baylor University (Waco, Texas) Wind Ensemble (Eric Wilson, conductor) – 23 October 2018
  • Southeast Missouri State University (Cape Girardeau) Wind Symphony (Martin Reynolds, conductor) – 19 October 2018
  • Kennesaw (Ga.) State University Wind Ensemble (David Kehler, conductor) – 10 October 2018
  • University of Arizona (Tucson) Concert Band (Evan Gibson, conductor) – 28 April 2018
  • Brigham Young University (Provo, Utah) Symphonic Band (Kirk Saville, conductor) – 4 April 2018
  • Atlanta (Ga.) Wind Symphony (David Kehler, conductor) – 10 March 2018
  • Bixby High School (Bixby, Ok.) Wind Ensemble (Jeremy W. Parker, conductor) - 25 February 2018
  • Northwest Missouri State University Wind Symphony (John Bell, conductor) – 12 October 2017
  • University of Arkansas (Fayetteville) Wind Symphony (Benjamin Lorenzo, conductor) – 3 October 2017
  • Indiana University (Bloomington) Wind Ensemble (Stephen W. Pratt, conductor) –20 April 2017

Works for Winds by This Composer

Adaptable Music

All Wind Works


  • Gershwin, G.; Krance, J. [1964]. Second Prelude, from Three Preludes [score]. New World Music Corp.: New York.
  • Girsberger, Russ. Percussion Assignments for Band & Wind Ensemble. Volume I: A-K. Galesburg, MD: Meredith Music Publications, 2004, 104. Print.
  • Smith, Norman E. (2002). Program Notes for Band. Chicago: GIA Publications, pp. 227.
  • Three Preludes (Gershwin). Wikipedia. Accessed 6 August 2023