11 Preludes for Piano (1947)
by Andreas Brandes
The eleven Preludes for Piano represent the result of Theodorakis' years of study. They were composed in 1947, whilst he was at the Athens Conservatoire. Before he completed a score of the work, however, he was arrested and sent into exile on the Aegean Islands (Ikaria - Makronisos). He returned after three years. and then sat his final exams in Composition. A year before the Preludes (1946-47), Theodorakis composed his three major works of that period: the Trio for Violin, Piano and Cello, the Sextet for Flute, Piano and String Quartet and the oratorio Margarita.
In the Preludes, the composer achieves the effect of crystallising particular musical moments within the shortest possible time-scale. Moments reflecting impressions and experiences from Greek folk song with its distinctive instrument (the clarinet of Epirus), the counterpoint of J.-S. Bach, the western church choral tradition, jazz music, etc.
What strikes us in the Preludes is the great economy of means of expression, the more advanced harmonic language being characteristic of that particular period of the composer, as well as the individual piano writing which makes the work more demanding and at the same time more attractive to the performer.
© Translated by ©Tatiana Papageorgiou
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