Prelude and Fugue in C Minor

Ralph Vaughan Williams



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Written in 1920-21, the Prelude and Fugue in C Minor was published in 1930, appearing both as an orchestral work and as an organ piece. The ritornello-form first movement calls to mind the Prelude and Fugue in C minor, BWV546 of J S Bach. The fugue is in A–B–A form and based on a subject whose pentatonic outline seems like an augury of gentle pastoralism; but both movements display a gritty, truculent brand of counterpoint that anticipates the dissonance and fury of Vaughan Williams’s Symphony No 4 in F minor, the composition of which spanned the years 1931–4. (from notes by Relf Clark © 2009). The power and drama of this piece is captured in this faithful arrangement for Concert Band.

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