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Prelude, Fugue, Variations and Chaconne

for flute, bassoon and piano

Composer:   Janet Jennings

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Janet Jennings: Prelude, Fu...

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I was pleased to have the opportunity to connect with the musical past by using four traditional forms in this work to explore a range of compositional techniques as well as styles and moods.

The prelude fulfils a traditional introductory function and features arpeggiated keyboard flourishes, albeit in non-traditional rhythmical patterns. Its closing figure of falling perfect fourths introduces the fugue subject. The fugue is sombre in tone and builds to a stretto in which the subject appears in close succession in four voices before subsiding gently over an augmented version in the fifth voice.

A sprightly whole-tone theme forms the basis for a set of four whole-tone variations with a prevailing ragtime flavour from which the closing movement emerges, a beguiling chaconne, in 5/4 mete rather than the traditional triple time. Flute and bassoon in turn play a chromatic melody above the piano's repeated harmonic progression. A light-hearted middle section gives the tune to the bassoon (the performer is asked to play 'lovingly') before the chaconne theme returns, in inverted form, to bring the work to its conclusion.

Contents note

I. Prelude
II. Fugue
III. Variations
IV. Chaconne