Minimal Preludes Book I & Book II

Jeroen van Veen

duration book one: approx. 55 minutes
duration book two: approx. 70 minutes

one to four pianos, mostly one piano

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Minimal Preludes






The prelude can be thought of as a preface. It may stand on its own or introduce another work. While, during the Baroque era for example, it may have served as an introduction to succeeding movements of a work that were usually longer and more complex, it may also have been a stand alone piece of work during the Romantic era. It generally features a small number of rhythmic and melodic motifs that recur through the piece. Stylistically, the prelude is improvisatory in nature.
The history of the Prelude goes back to Johan Sebastian Bach. He was the first composer to write 24 preludes and fugues in all 12 Major and 12 Minor keys. Chopin's preludes, Op. 28, are a set of short pieces for the piano, one in each of the twenty-four keys. Although the term
prelude is generally used to describe an introductory piece, Chopin's stand as self-contained units, each conveying a specific idea or emotion.
Many composers followed the idea: Claude Debussy, Alexander Scriabin and Sergei Rachmaninoff. I composed the 24 preludes devided in two books; Book I contains number 1-12 and Book II 13-24.
In my Minimal Preludes I tried to combine the order of Chopin (C-a-G-e), the piano-techniques by Franz Liszt and Sergei Rachmaninoff, the polyrhythmics by Philip Glass, the sound of Simeon ten Holt, some prepared piano effects like George Crumb and the rhythms of Steve Reich. Each piece has its own character, starting from a very minimalistic point of view, less is more.
All the preludes can be played separately, and they contain a lot of freedom. Some Preludes are just a few ‘Lego bricks’ that can be repeated or even constructed in any order.
I wish you a lot of fun exploring the Minimal Preludes.



Minimal Preludes Book I
For Sheet Music click here


Minimal Preludes Book II
For Sheet Music click here















This work was premiered in Theatre De Schalm, Veldhoven The Netherlands, at June 5th in 2005 by the composer.
It has been recorded on
Brilliant Classics, Minimal Piano Collection Cd 8551.