Page:A Dictionary of Music and Musicians vol 3.djvu/40

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28
PRELUDE.
PREINDL.

PREINDL, Joseph, born 1758 at Marbach on the Danube, a pupil of Albrechtsberger in Vienna, became in 1790 choirmaster of the Peterskirche, and in 1809 Capellmeister of St. Stephen's, in which post he died Oct. 26, 1823. He was a solid and correct composer, a skilled pianist and organist, and a valued teacher of singing. His compositions include masses, a requiem, smaller church pieces, and pianoforte and organ-music, partly published in Vienna. He also printed a 'Gesanglehre' (2nd ed. Steiner), and 'Melodien aller deutschen Kirchenlieder welche in St. Stephansdom in Wien gesungen werden,' with cadences, symphonies, and preludes, for organ or pianoforte (Diabelli, 3rd ed. revised and enlarged by Sechter). Seyfried edited his posthumous work 'Wiener Tonschule,' a method of instruction in harmony, counterpoint, and fugue (Haslinger, 1827; 2nd ed. 1832).

[ C. F. P. ]

PRELLEUR, PETER, was of French extraction and in early life a writing master. About 1728 he was elected organist of St. Alban, Wood Street, and shortly afterwards engaged to play the harpsichord at Goodman's Fields Theatre, which he continued to do until the suppression of the theatre under the Licensing Act in 1737, composing also the dances and occasional music. In 1730 he published 'The Modern Musick Master, or, the Universal Musician' containing an introduction to singing, instructions for playing the flute, German flute, hautboy, violin, and harpsichord, with a brief History of Music, and a Musical Dictionary. In 1735 he was elected the first organist of Christ Church, Spitalfields. After the closing of Goodman's Fields Theatre he was engaged at a newly opened place of entertainment in Leman Street close by, called the New Wells, for which he composed some songs, and an interlude entitled 'Baucis and Philemon,' containing a good overture and some pleasing songs and duets, the score of which he published. Fifteen hymn tunes by him were included in a collection of twenty-four published by one Moze, an organist, in 1758, under the title of 'Divine Melody,' in which he is spoken of as if then dead.

[ W. H. H. ]

PRELUDE (Fr. Prélude; It. Preludio; Lat. Preludiam; Ger. Vorspiel). A preliminary movement, ostensibly an introduction to the main body of a work, but frequently of intrinsic and independent value and importance. [See Introduction, Overture.] The term is rarely used in connection with oratorio, cantata, or opera, either as a synonym for overture or as a title for the instrumental introduction taking the place of an overture in regular form. Wagner, however, employs the word Vorspiel in the majority of his music dramas, notably in 'Lohengrin' and 'Die Meistersinger.' In each of these several instances the movement so denominated is not only of extreme significance, but is capable, like an overture, of being performed apart from the opera. In 'Tristan und Isolde' he prefers Einleitung (Introduction), but in the four sections of 'Der Ring des Nibelungen' we have Vorspiel, and the terms in an operatic sense may be considered practically interchangeable.

The Prelude was for a long period a characteristic portion of the Sonata or Suite. For example, Corelli in his 'Sonate da Camera,' commences almost invariably with a Preludio, that is, an introduction of 8, 12, or 16 bars, largo or adagio, leading generally into an Allemande. In the works of Corelli's successors, Italian and German, we find the Prelude more developed, but it seems to have been a matter of choice with the composer whether a movement so named should precede the Allemande. Bach, whose commanding genius led him to improve upon the lines of his predecessors, has left some masterly preludes in what is generally known as the ancient binary or sonata form; these movements being as important and interesting as any in his suites. [See Sonata, Suite.] But the term is used in another sense, which must be dealt with here—that is, as a title to the movement introductory to a fugue. The Wohltemperirte Clavier of Bach affords a great variety of forms and styles included under the same heading. In some instances, as for example Book I. No. 1 in C, No. 2 in C minor, and No. 3 in C♯, the prelude is a mere study in arpeggios; in others it is in regular form, as in Book II. No. 5 in D and No. 9 in E. Sometimes it is of greater length than the succeeding fugue, of which Book II. No. 17 in A♭, is an instance in point.

The organ preludes of Bach are of far greater interest than even his masterly compositions for the clavichord. In Book II. of the complete organ works there are some magnificent preludes, especially those in A minor, E minor, G minor and B minor. The contrapuntal ingenuity and musical beauty of the one last-named are greater than they are in the fugue following. But perhaps the finest of the entire series is that in E♭, Book III., associated with the fugue popularly known as 'St. Ann's.' The form of the movement is very nearly that of the modern rondo, and in regard to symmetrical proportion, melodic beauty, and depth of feeling, it has few rivals in the instrumental works of any composer. But a lengthy treatise might be penned on the organ preludes of John Sebastian Bach. Among the multitudinous imitations by recent composers the three preludes of Mendelssohn in op. 37 hold the foremost place. His six Preludes (and Fugues) for piano (op. 35) are also interesting, more especially that in E minor No. 1, which almost deserves a place among the 'Lieder ohne Worte.' Chopin, who was a law unto himself in many things, has left a series of Préludes, each of which is complete in itself, and not intended as an introduction to something else. The apparent anomaly may be forgiven, out of consideration to the originality of the pieces, which whether they were suggested by his visit to Majorca or not, are among the most characteristic of Chopin's compositions. It will be seen by the foregoing remarks that the title of Prelude has never been associated with any particular form in music, but