Hans Rott -
Pastorales Vorspiel (Pastoral Prelude) in F major for Orchestra

(Nowak no. 41, Banks no. 44)

Updated on
August 23, 2017
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Hans Rott started his work on the Pastoral Prelude already in 1877; it was completed in June 1880. It was originally intended as a Prelude for an Opera called "Elsbeth" (further details are not known).

In the same year Rott presented the Pastoral Prelude together with his Symphony in E major to the Ministry of Education.

Who expects the Pastoral Prelude to be a further proof that Rott had been a "Mahler before Mahler" (Knut Franke) will be disappointed. There are indeed some passages reminiscent of Mahler's (considerably later) works, such as bird calls and sustained tones which dominate the nature scene at the beginning of the first movement of Mahler's First Symphony. Also the mystical pizzicato passage in the middle part of the work (prior to the beginning of the fugue) has a "Mahlerian ring". But the work as a whole fairly surpasses this and has passages which remind of Max Reger's music; Rott proves to be keen on experimenting.

The Pastoral Prelude consists of a prelude and a fugue which is not astonishing if we remember that Rott had been an organist. The main theme, which is introduced in a pastoral atmosphere, is presented within the broadly conceived crescendo in constantly varying colours and finally loses every hint of pastoral character by the use of a powerful orchestrated fugue. Despite some reminiscences (especially at the beginning) of Richard Wagner, this work proves Rott's imagination and original creativity. As, unlike the Symphony, it was not intended to be presented to a jury, Rott had not to succumb to any limitations and he proved what an ambitious and unconventional composer he had been. Especially with regard to harmony and instrumentation he presents himself far more radical.

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1st flute (+ piccolo); 2nd flute; 3rd flute; 1st oboe; 2nd oboe; 1st clarinet in Bb; 2nd clarinet in Bb; 1st bassoon; 2nd bassoon; counter-bassoon; 1st horn in F; 2nd horn in F; 3rd horn in F; 4th horn in F; 1st trumpet in F; 2nd trumpet in F; 3rd trumpet in F; 1st trombone; 2nd trombone; 3rd trombone; counter-bass tuba; bass drums; percussion (2 players: triangle, great drum, cymbals); violin I; violin II; viola; violoncello; double-bass


Length: c. 16 minutes


The score can be bought or hired from Universal Edition.


(without any claim of completion)
March 26, 1995
London Symphony Orchestra
Michael Tilson Thomas
London/GB, Barbican Hall
(only the opening)
February 18, 2000
Radio Symphonieorchester Wien
Dennis Russell Davies
Vienna/A, Wiener Musikverein, Großer Saal
First performance of the complete work
March 22, 2002
Berliner Sinfonie-Orchester
Jac van Steen
Berlin/D, Konzerthaus
First German performance

October 18/19, 2002
Bruckner Orchester Linz
Dennis Russell Davies

October 18, 2002: Ingolstadt/D, Theater
October 19, 2002: Würzburg/D, Dom

April 18/19, 2003
Vlaams Radio Orkest
Yoel Levi

April 18, 2003: 's-Hertogenbosch/NL, Theater aan de Parade
April 19, 2003: Rotterdam/NL, De Doelen


July 10/11/13, 2004
Wiener Jeunesse Orchester
Herbert Böck

July 10, 2004: Dobbiaco/I
July 11, 2004: Valgardena/I
July 13, 2004: Schloß Grafenegg/A


August 25, 2007
Landesjugendorchester Berlin
Hermann Bäumer
Berlin/D, Konzerthaus

June 12, 2009
Beethoven Orchester Bonn
Stefan Blunier
November 21/28, 2009
Frankfurter Orchester Gesellschaft
Stefan Schmitt
Frankfurt/D, Titusforum
November 21, 2009: Nidderau-Heldenbergen/D, Kulturhalle
November 28, 2009: Frankfurt/D, Titusforum
June 5, 2010
Blumen Philharmonie
Kiyotaka Teraoka
Tokyo/J, Suginami Kokaido
September 14/22/23, 2010
Philharmonisches Orchester Vorpommern
Karl Prokopetz

September 14, 2010: Greifswald/D, Großes Haus
September 22, 2010: Stralsund/D, Großes Haus
September 23, 2010: Stralsund/D, Großes Haus
May 13-15, 2011
Dresdner Philharmonie
Juanjo Mena
Dresden/D, Kulturpalast/Festsaal

June 11/13,2014
October 29, 2014
November 3, 2014
Orchester der Universität Salzburg a.G.
Martin Fuchsberger
June 11, 2014: Salzburg/A, Mozarteum/Großer Saal
June 13, 2014: Bad Reichenhall/D, Evangelische Kirche
October 29, 2014: Bad Reichenhall/D, Konzertrotunde
November 3, 2014: Leipzig/D, Gewandhaus/Großer Saal

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