Derek Bourgeois (b1941) was born in Kingston upon Thames and educated at Cambridge University and at the Royal College of Music, where he studied composition with Herbert Howells. The composer of forty-two symphonies, he is among the most prolific of present-day British composers, and his Prelude and Toccata, which dates from 2002, is one of a number of his works for the organ. The first movement is majestic and dark-hued, and even its major-mode second section is strongly coloured by chromatic harmony. The second movement is an energetic rondo based on a perky transformation of the melody heard at the beginning of the Prelude. A reminiscence of that movement’s major-mode material precedes the exuberant coda.
from notes by Relf Clark © 2009