Benjamin BrittenPrelude and Fugue for string orchestra op. 29
Benjamin Britten completed his Prelude and Fugue in 1943 as a birthday present for the 10th anniversary of the Boyd Neel String Orchestra. Prelude and Fugue for string orchestra has an exquisitely executed string texture and contrapuntal finesse that testifies to the technical confidence of the then 29-year-old Britten.
The work opens with an intense ‘Prelude’ with a prominent high-flying violin solo. The ‘Fugue’ emerges from the depths of the bass register in pianissimo and rises from instrument to instrument as new voices join in. The movement grows into a vivacious and energetic texture with harmonically dense contrapuntal writing. At its height, the texture has 18 parts going on, each musician being given an independent part. The culmination of the fugue is followed by a coda harking back to the heavier, intense melodic writing of the Prelude but concluding in a brisk accelerando.
Shortened from Kimmo Korhonen's work presentation
Translation: Jaakko Mäntyjärvi