This is the start of my latest piece, a prelude on the hymn tune Ellacombe. I’ve written several pieces following the rough form of Ralph Vaughan Williams’ setting of Rhosymedre. While I’ll spend some time on that in a subsequent post, suffice it to say he presents some nice introductory material, then states the tune in the left hand against this material, repeats the tune in the right hand with a fuller accompaniment, follows with a tag from the first setting, and ends with a restatement of his introductory material.
I thought I might use the same form with a different tune. Easier said than done! I started with the left hand and pedal material (based on the opening two notes of the tune in the right hand). The tune wasn’t supposed to come in for a page or so. After I wrote the intro stuff, I realized my intro didn’t flow like RVW’s and, frankly, wasn’t as interesting. By this time, I was at what I hoped would be the closing statement and decided to play with the tune a little:
Notice that it’s similar but the tune is not treated as simply. After I wrote this, I realized that my beginning was too bare (although a lot easier to play, since the pedal only played the bottom notes, with the left hand doing the upper part of the pedal, and the right hand doing the chords. But no! The music kept demanding changes, so the simple tune was played against the chords, and the poor feet are kept busy.) I didn’t achieve RVW’s simple elegance, but there’s a satisfying buildup and sense of conclusion with my piece. I’ll put up an audio clip as soon as I play the piece in public.