Whilst each of the preludes in this suite is distinct in character, they all share the composer’s trademark use of contrasting time signatures, pulsating rhythms and dramatic energy. These pieces (Grades 6-8 ABRSM levels), with their Latin names harking back to a different age, provide the more advanced pianist with a musically challenging and rewarding depiction of different attitudes towards time.
Tempus Fugit (Time Flies) and Momentum are both influenced by jazz and have lively Eastern European folk dance rhythms.
Momento Temporis (A Moment in Time) is tranquil and modal, with sonorous pedalling, whilst the harmonies in Perpetuum Mobile often employ familiar diatonic language and use chords based on the intervals of the second and fourth.
Tempus Rerum Imperator (Time, Commander of All Things) is a spiky, urgent and chromatic evocation of time running away with us while the final prelude, Ab Aeterno, (From Time Immemorial) is a dark evocation of eternity, with just one chord deployed in a series of mathematical progressions, using rhythmical diminution and augmentation to outline a journey.
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