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Sacred Prelude, op. 1 : for string quintet

by Jonathan David Little (1984)

Audio Sample

Performance by Robert Ian Winstin from the CD Terpsichore, and other works

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Terpsichore, and other works


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Terpsichore, and other works / Jonathan Little.

Library shelf no. CD 2229 [Available for loan]

Sacred prelude, op. 1


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Sacred prelude, op. 1 : for string quintet / Jonathan Little.

Library shelf no. 785.715/LIT 1 [Not for loan]

Display all products featuring this work (1 more)  

Work Overview

A natural rubato is felt throughout this haunting, single-movement, chamber work for string quintet. Its much darker than usual instrumentation sees two violas and two cellos set against only one violin (which sometimes, like a single voice, soars high above the texture). The sound is reminiscent of that of ancient church music. Written in the stile antico, it opens with a "Plainsong", then comes the main central "Anthem". There is a brief reprise of the opening theme, before the work closes with a more emphatic "Fantasia" (where the sense of rubato becomes almost improvisatory). The work, as a whole, may be said to comprise a poignant "prayer" for strings.

Work Details

Year: 1984

Instrumentation: Violin, 2 violas, 2 cellos.

Duration: 11 min.

Difficulty: Advanced — High (sustained) viola parts, requiring much control.

Winner of the 2005 Kenneth Leighton Trust Award (For recording of Sacred Prelude, Op.1) and  Kenneth Leighton Trust Award 2005


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