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Triptych: I - Chorale Prelude : for orchestra

by James Cuddeford (2017)

Triptych: I- Chorale Prelude


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Triptych: I- Chorale Prelude / James Cuddeford.

Library shelf no. 784.2/CUD 1 [Available for loan]

Work Overview

The first part of my Triptych for orchestra, titled Chorale Prelude (for Christoph Poppen), was composed in 2016-17. It is part of a larger cycle of five interconnected works containing three main orchestral movements (Triptych parts I to III) and two chamber sized Predellas (Predella I for seven trombones and Predella II for three trumpets) which can be played before and after the three Triptychs in the foyer of the hall.

The main body of the orchestra in Chorale Prelude is spatially surrounded by three percussionists, and it is treated as a communal breathing choral mass. Much of the music's material - from the micro gestural level to the large formal design - originates from a quality of inhalation and exhalation. Unlike the chorale preludes of Bach and others, the piece is not based on a pre-existing chorale melody, but rather on what could be termed a "proto chorale," or underlying basic chorale type. However, the ghost of Bach's extraordinary chorale Es ist genug hovers in the background. Perhaps my childhood memories of daily choral singing at a Lutheran school, as well as years studying Riemenschneider's book of Bach's three hundred or so chorales, has impacted upon my composition.

Chorale Prelude lasts around fourteen minutes and is dedicated to Christoph Poppen (who happily shares the same initials as the title) in admiration and friendship. It was first performed by the Hong Kong Sinfonietta conducted by Christoph Poppen at the Hong Kong City Hall on 29 April 2017.

Work Details

Year: 2017

Instrumentation: 2 flutes, 2 clarinets, 4 horns in F, 2 trombones, bass trombone, percussion (3 players), timpani, strings.

Duration: 14 min.

Difficulty: Advanced

Dedication note: Dedicated to Christoph Poppen

Performances of this work

29 Apr 17: Hong Kong City Hall Concert Hall

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