Powers: Prelude and Bacchanal

Prelude and Bacchanal

for violin, horn, and piano

composed 2003
catalog number H-PB31
duration: approx. 5 minutes
Purchase at J. W. Pepper; $20.00


Prelude and Bacchanal was commissioned by Brian Kilp, my colleague at Indiana State University, with support from the Indiana State University Arts Endowment. It was written in May and June 2003, and first performed in July at the Bangkok Cultural Center in Thailand. The performers were Tan Peng Kow, violin; Brian Kilp, horn; and Eleanor Tan Ai Ling, piano.

The title is pretty much self explanatory. Much of the piece, especially the Bacchanal, is built around six-tone modes, which happened to interest me at the time. The Prelude, marked “Broad and Majestic,” features long stentorian lines in the violin and horn, punctuated by dramatic gestures in the piano. The piano introduces the main theme of the Bacchanal (“Fast, Energetic, Uninhibited”), soon joined by the violin, then the horn, in a long buildup to a frenzied conclusion.