Four Preludes for the Seasons of Worship
for unaccompanied flute
Arranged by Nancy Nourse
Published by Nourse Wind Publications
A Lenten Mediation upon Forty Days and Forty Nights – For Lent (Duration: c. 3'05″)
Variations on an Old French Carol (Noel Nouvelet / Love Is Come Again) – For Easter or Christmas (Duration: c. 4')
Meditation upon a Sarum Plainsong (Conditor Alme Siderum)- For Advent (Duration: c. 3'05″)
Once in Royal David's City (Based upon the hymn tune, Irby by Henry John Gauntlett (1805-1876)) – For Christmas (Duration: c. 2'55)
The four preludes included in this collection are each based upon a tune associated with a particular time of the church calendar.
The Lenten prelude, Meditation upon “Forty Days and Forty Nights”, likewise employs a theme with interpolations approach. The hymn tune, Heinlein, is most closely associated with the English text, “Forty days and forty nights, Thou wast fasting in the wild”. However in the midst of this piece occur short musical representations of the three temptations.
In the case of the Variations on an Old French Carol, its association is with both Easter in its text of “Love is Come Again” and in its Christmas text of “Noel Nouvelet” (or as sung in English, “Sing We Now of Christmas”).
The advent prelude, Meditation upon a Sarum Plainsong, uses the 7th century plainsong chant Conditor Alme Siderum as its basis, with frequent trope-like interpolations occurring between the phrases.
Even more simply conceived, the rendering of the Victorian Christmas hymn, Once in Royal David's City. The first verse is played sweetly and simply, while harmonic material is added for verses two and three.