Programme Notes – Prelude, Interlude and Postlude (1992)

Prelude, Interlude and Postlude was written in 1992, and won the Purcell Composition Prize in 1995. The three pieces are in a free atonal idiom, but with some leanings towards modality, particularly in the Postlude. In all three movements I have attempted to explore the percussive possibilities of the instrument without, I hope, resorting to cheap effects. The Prelude features violent juxtapositions between various moods and registers, while the Interlude is mainly swift in tempo with an unexpected diatonic twist at the end. The Postlude lasts as long as the first two movements put together and is subtitled Epiphany in Venice , being inspired by the sounds of multiple bells on a bitterly cold and foggy January day in that unique city. This final piece is dedicated to the memory of Olivier Messiaen.