is equally applicable to a phrase of a few bars or an extended composition in strict or free style.
Occasionally the synonymous word PBEAM- BULUM is employed, of which the most salient modern instance occurs in Schumann's ' Carnaval,' op. 9. Prelude is sometimes used to signify the introductory bars of symphony in a song or other vocal piece ; also thebrief improvisation of a player before commencing his performance proper. Bee- thoven's two Preludes through the 12 keys, op. 39, are in the improvisatory style. [H.F.F.]
PRELUDES, LES. The third of Liszt's 'Symphonic Poems ' (Symphonische Dichtnngen) for full orchestra; probably composed in the winter of 1849, and first performed at Weimar, Feb. 23, 1854. [G.]
PREPARATION. The possibility of using a very large proportion of the dissonant combina- tions in music was only discovered at first through the process of 'suspension,' which amounts to the delaying of the progression of a part or voice out of a concordant combination while the other parts move on to a fresh combination ; so that until the delayed part moves also to its destination a dissonance is heard. As long as the parts which have moved first wait for the suspended notes to move into their places before moving further, the group belongs to the order of ordinary suspensions (Ex. i) ; but when they move again while the part which was as it were left behind moves into its place, a different class of discords is created (Ex. 2). In both these cases the sounding of the
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��discordant note in the previous combination (i. e. the upper C in the first chord of both examples) is called the 'preparation' of the discord, and the latter class are sometimes distinguished especially as prepared discords. The note which prepares a discord must be ultimately capable of being taken without preparation ; hence for a long while only absolutely concordant notes could be used for the purpose. But when by degrees the Dominant seventh, and later the major and minor ninths of the Dominant, and some similarly constructed chromatic chords of seventh and ninth, came to be used as freely as concords, their dis- cordant notes became equally available to prepare less privileged discords. [C.H.H.P.]
PRESA (literally, 'a Taking'). A sign, used to indicate the places at which the Guida (or Subject) of a Canon is to be taken up by the several Voices.
The following are the forms most frequently adopted :
S- :S: -S- + *
In the famous ' Enimme,' or Enigmatical Canons, of the I5th and i6th centuries, an In-
scription is usually substituted for the Presa, though in many cases even this is wanting, and the Singer is left without assistance, [See INSCRIP- TION.] [W.S.R.]
PRESTISSIMO, 'very quickly,' indicates the highest rate of speed used in music. It is used, like Presto, generally for the whole movement, which is as a rule the finale. Examples in Beethoven's sonatas are, Op. 2, No. i, and Op. 53. It is used for the second movement of Op. 109. [J.A.F.M.]
PRESTO, 'fast,' indicates a rate of speed quicker than allegro, or any other sign except prestissimo. It is generally used at the begin- ning of movements, such movements being as a rule the last of the work, or the finale, as for instance, Beethoven's sonatas, Op. 10, No. 2 ; Op. 27, No. 2 ; Op. 31, No. 3. It is used as the ist movement in Sonata, Op. 10, No. 3, and in Op. 79. When the time becomes faster in the middle of a movement, Piu presto is used, as for instance in Beethoven's Quartet in Eb (Op. 74), 3rd movement (Presto), where the direction for the part of the movement that serves as the trio is ' Piu presto quasi prestissimo.' A curious instance of the use of this direction is in the pianoforte sonata of Schumann, Op. 22, where the ist movement is headed 'II piu presto possibile,' and in German below 'So rasch wie moglich.' At 41 bars from the end of the move- ment comes 'Piu mosso,' translated 'Schneller,* and again, 25 bars from the end, ' Ancora pifc mosso,' ' Noch schneller.' [J.A.F.M.]
PREVOST, EUGENE, born in Paris, Aug. 23, 1809, studied harmony and counterpoint at the Conservatoire with Seuriot and Jelensperger, and composition with Lesueur ; took the second Grand prix in 1829, and the Prix de Rome in 1831 for his cantata ' Bianca Capella.' Previous to this he had produced ' L'Hdtel des Princes,' and 'Lie Grenadier de Wagram' i-act pieces containing pretty music both with success, at the Ambigu-Comique. On his return from Italy, 'Cosimo,' an ope'ra-bouffe in 2 acts, was well received at the Opera Comique, and followed by ' Le bon Gar9on,' i act, of no remarkable merit. After his marriage with Ele'onore Colon, sister of the favourite singer Jenny Colon, Prevost left Paris to become conductor of the theatre at Havre. His unusually retentive memory proved a disadvantage in this post, for in con- stantly studying the works of others he lost his originality. In 1838 he left Havre for New Orleans, where he remained 20 years. He was in great request as a singing-master, conducted the French theatre at New Orleans, and produced with marked success a mass for full orchestra, and several dramatic works, including 'Esmeralda,' which contained some striking music. None of these were engraved. When the war broke out he returned to Paris, and became favourably known as a conductor. He directed the concerts of the Champs Elysees, and the fantasias which he arranged for them show great skill in orchestration.