• Kenneth Leighton
  • Prelude, Scherzo & Passacaglia (1963)

  • Novello & Co Ltd (World)
  • Organ
  • 20 min

Programme Note

Prelude, Scherzo and Passacaglia, Opus 41 was Leighton's first major organ piece, and was commissioned by Bryan Hesford for performance at Norwich Cathedral on October 24, 1963.

All three movements are characterised by a skillful blending of traditional counterpoint with contemporary tonality.

Throughout the Prelude a two-note motto provides punctuation to the flowing counterpoint. The Scherzo is a gigue figure beneath which we hear a legato pedal motive consisting of descending fourths and fifths. Although the Passacaglia does not adhere strictly to the 12-tone row, its subject does include all the notes of the chromatic scale before repeating any, and the variations which follow have an atonal quality.