Commissioned by the Nederlandse Omroep Stichting (NOS Radio)

  • 3(2pic).2+ca.2+Ebcl+bcl.2+cbn/4331/timp.3perc/hp/str(
  • 8 min

Programme Note

The Three Preludes for orchestra were commissioned by the NOS (the Dutch Broadcasting Company) for the 1994 Kirill Kondrashin Conducting Competition and dedicated to the Radio Philharmonic Orchestra. The first performance took place as part of the finals of the competition in the Amsterdam Concertgebouw.

The main goal was of course to write an orchestral piece which would show off the qualities of the contestants as well as the orchestra's. With a total duration of some eight minutes of music at his disposal, Keuris decided to compose three contrasting miniatures.
The first prelude resembles in a sense the orchestration of a non-existant piano piece. The second, an Andante, is a true orchestral prelude and consists mainly of some three-part orchestral climaxes purely based on the technique of orchestration. The third prelude is again an example of Keuris's brilliant orchestration technique. Here the organ prelude may have been the prime example. The orchestral colours resemble those of organ stops, and a Mendelssohnian lightness enriches the rhythmic complexity.

In short, which conductor and which orchestra wouldn't wish to try their hands at this spirited and colourful music?

© Leo Samama