Prelude after Dostoyevsky

Year of composition
Difficult (Grades 7+)
7 minutes
Modern classical music
Solo instrument (Flute)
Instrumental parts

Originally composed in 1981 and handed to a few flute players as photocopies of the original hand-written MS, I now feel confident enough with Sibelius software to attempt to notate it and allow contemporary players to try their hand at the score.

When I was first offered a place at the Royal Academy of Music (in 1978) I only really wanted to compose avant garde or contemporary serious music. I have since moved away from that genre into more approachable genres such as light/educational music and jazz; but this is certainly a true representation of the style in which I first wanted to make my mark.

There now follows a programme note to flautists written on 18th February, 2008.

This piece was inspired by the writing of the brilliant Russian Novelist, Dostoyevsky. It isn�t programmatic as such nor (particularly) �Russian�, but it was written at a time that I was discovering Dostoyevsky and therefore I felt that there was some influence from the Great Writer.

It is a piece �about� phrases. The soloist should not be over-concerned with the minutiae of rhythm/tempo or dynamics (even though these are notated in minute detail). It is a composition that contains some of the most beautiful individual phrases that I have ever composed � so, think �phrases�, think �beauty of tone� and you will do a lot better than worrying about doubly (or triply) dotted notes, septuplets, accelerandi and apostrophe breath-marks as opposed to demisemiquaver rests.

The piece is to be played �in the rubato style� i.e. with a certain flexibility of rhythmic interpretation. There is a direction at the very beginning of the piece which I hope will be taken to heart � �free rubato style, very loose and flexible� � this almost suggests that the work is in the jazz vein which is absolutely not the case (although I have composed quite a bit of jazz, but that�s another story�).

This is a serious work. More importantly however, it is a work thoroughly conceived as an unaccompanied flute solo. It is impossible that the composition could ever be played by any other instrument!

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