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PRACTICING NOW IS THE HOUR

From Christopher Nortons P acific P reludes

Following the success of Eastern Preludes, Pacific Preludes is a set of later intermediate pieces that use melodies from
countries bordering on the Pacific Ocean, from the USA to the Phillipines, New Zealand to Colombia. Christopher Norton has woven
his fantasies around these themes, creating pieces in a variety of arttractive contemporary popular styles.
Now is the Hour is a song from his native New Zealand and was very popular during World War 2, even recorded by Vera Lynn.
The opening is an original idea, which should be beautifully shaped and played with rubato.

The main technical feature of the piece is a melody played initially by the left hand, where the tenuto notes need to
sing out, whether they are at the top or the bottom of the chord:

QUESTIONS:

1. The piece is in G major, but it goes to the most distant chord imaginable from G at one point. Can you
see where?

2. What is the quietest dynamic in the piece? And the loudest?...................

3. In which bars is your left hand spread widest?..........................

4. In which bars would the dynamic in the right hand be different from the dynamic in the left
hand?.........

5. Listen to the recording of Now Is The Hour. How would you describe the overall mood of the piece and
in which bars do you feel the mood changes? .

PRACTICING THE PIECE:

1. Bars 1-5 The pedal will change on each chord change, with quick changes for the 8th notes in bar 3:
2. Bars 6-7 When you play the quarter note chords from beat 3 of bar 6 to the end of bar 7 you should use a
slight drop of the wrist to create a bell-like quality, all within the pedal. And make the following high melody
beautifully legato and expressive.

3. Bars 12-20 Here is where the main melody sings out beautifully in the left hand the right hand will play p at
most:

4. Bars 21-27 And here is the right-hand melody make sure these notes sing out as well:

5. Bars 37-44 Make sure the melody sings out in the right hand and then sings out in the left hand!

6. Bars 51-53 You have one more chance to bring the melody out, this time shifiting from alto to tenor voice.

6. Bars 54 -56. Put the pedal down and enjoy the beautiful sonority created as you play quieter and quieter
within the pedal. Let the sound hang in the air for as long as you dare at the end.

All music examples 2017 Boosey & Hawkes Music Publishers. Used by permission.