Movement 1: Preludio
Movement 2: Intermezzo
Movement 3: Toccata
Four elements go to the making of the ‘Preludio’: the harsh and brilliant theme heard at the outset; the following patter of semiquavers which is spun out in the manner of a toccata during the course of the movement; a restless theme scored for the Voix Célestes; and finally a short, fanfare-like phrase which later supplies the final page. The chromaticism of the ‘Intermezzo’, which is in B minor, is anything but lush in effect; rather does it give a pungent tang to its already perky theme. When semiquaver movement is introduced, the theme is repeated in G with the pedals doubling the melody. On its return to B minor the theme is accompanied by an anapaestic rhythm. The ‘Toccata’ is one of Dupré’s most fiery and telling movements. Its principal theme is hammered out at the start under bare fifths. A feature of the movement, and indeed of the entire work, is the chromatic alteration of various degrees of the scale. The resultant augmented intervals give an almost oriental twist to some of the melodic shapes.
from notes by Felix Aprahamian © 1998