Broadheath Music

Contemporary Classical Music by Frank Wilhoit

12 Preludes for Piano, Op. 20 (1986)


Fred Goldbeck wrote of Ravel's piano concertos: "...the two pianos of Ravel: the one based upon Mozart, the other upon Liszt...". I must therefore, in fairness, offer you twelve pianos, or as near as I can come to it. I actually have an enduring fascination with the piano, if only because I have yet to figure out, to my own satisfaction, what the instrument is really about. Perforce, this throws me back upon what other people have thought it was about, so my pianos are based upon Hindemith, or Holst, or Shostakovich, or Brahms, or Komponistenwurst.

One thing that I do know about the piano is equal temperament, and I have very little use for equal temperament (being a rabidly bigoted Pythagorean). So my approach to the piano is usually by way of some kind of pitch-class game. Not so here; just a scheme of two half-circles-of-fifths to work through the twelve (pout) possible (shudder) "keys" (cringe). In order, they are

  • I. Promenade (D)
  • II. Etude for the Left Hand (G)
  • III. Aftermath (A)
  • IV. Nocturne (C)
  • V. Carillon (E)
  • VI. Chorale (F)
  • VII. Fanfare (B)
  • VIII. March (B-flat)
  • IX. Valse (F-sharp)
  • X. Alarum (E-flat)
  • XI. Intermezzo (D-flat)
  • XII. Capriccio (A-flat)

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