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.
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
None discovered thus far.
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Works for Winds by this Composer
- Autobiography (1979)
- Carousel Waltz (as arranger) (1945/1957)
- Christmas Overture
- Cinderella Waltz (as arranger)
- Concerto Grosso for Woodwind Quintet and Wind Orchestra
- Down to the Sea in Ships (ed. Glaser) (1954/2016)
- SS Eagle March (1969/2016)
- Four Preludes (1974)
- King and I, The, Selections (as arranger) (1951)
- The Many Moods of Christmas (arr. Rehbein) (2002)
- March of the Siamese Children (as arranger)
- Oklahoma! (as arranger)
- On a Clear Day You Can See Forever (as arranger) (1970)
- Porgy and Bess: Selections (as arranger) (1934/1942)
- Rose Variations (1956)
- Soap Box Derby March (1966)
- South Pacific Symphonic Scenario (arr. Bennett and Rogers) (1949/1999)
- Suite of Old American Dances (1949)
- Suite of Old American Dances (ed. Higgins) (1949/1952)
- Symphonic Songs for Band (1958)
- Victory at Sea
- White Christmas (as arranger) (1940/1948)
- Bennett, R. . Four Preludes [score]. [Belwin-Mills: Melville, N.Y.]
- Heritage Encyclopedia of Band Music. "Robert Russell Bennett." Accessed 4 June 2017