Prelude, Hymn, and Toccata —1988

Prelude, Hymn, and Toccata was commissioned by pianist William Carr for his debut concert at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall.

Program Note

Prelude, Hymn and Toccata was conceived as a single large-scale arch form in which the rhythmically-charged outer movements support the meditative, elegiac Hymn. The Prelude, with its hard-driving, hand-alternating rhythms, and onrushing episodes, features Debussy-inflected colors and a fairly improvisatory approach to form. The more formal Hymn begins and ends with a quietly tolling bell, under which a simple chorale texture echoes and expands to a clangorous polytonal chiming, like superimposed views of a cathedral at different times during the day. The Toccata begins with a brief look back at the end of the first movement, then plummets into a playful, energetic, jazz-inflected landscape.

The following directives to the performer, taken from the score, may guide the listener through the performance:


enigmatic tranquil sweetly with expression majestically brilliantly animated

fluttering ethereal barely audible as rapid as possible tranquil again

more slowly rubato dreamlike winding down dying away


in memory of Derrick D. Brown

very slow distant somewhat faster becoming animated clangorous

majestic fading away distant ethereal


energetic crisp lively rhythmically precise relaxed furiously sweetly and with

expression delicate energetic suddenly quiet delicate with full force



…a jazz-inflected work of solidly idiomatic keyboard writing.

Will Crutchfield, The New York Times, November 27, 1988


Debussy-inflected colors; hard-driving, hand-alternating rhythms, and onrushing episodes. Maggio had an expert performer in pianist Geoffrey Burleson.

Anthony Tommasini, The Boston Globe, February 27, 1992