Prelude, fugue et variation, Op18 for flute nonet
Prelude, Fugue, and Variation, Op. 18, which was dedicated to Camille Saint-Saëns. Franck’s dedications do not imply portraits, but the balance and clarity of the Prelude, Fugue, and Variation do suggest the classical orientation of Saint-Saëns. The owing B-minor Prelude has a gentle melancholy, opening almost like Bach’s “Liebster Jesu” prelude with three repetitions of an asymmetrical ve-bar phrase. The Fugue has its own little prelude and clean textures, the polyphony by no means hard to follow. Rounding the three-part work is the Variation, basically a repeat of the Prelude with a more active accompaniment, fading to the light of B major.
This is an arrangement for flute ensemble (nine players, from piccolo to the contrabass flute) based on the original score for harmonium and piano and brings a wonderful supplement to the growing repertoire for flute ensembles.