Humphrey Searle composed this restrained and delicate Prelude for Piano on a theme of Alan Rawsthorne in (1965). A student of Anton Webern who, together with Elizabeth Lutyens was one of the pioneers of 12-tone music in Britain, Searle was a leading authority on the music of Franz Liszt , and also taught composition to the likes of Michael Finnissy and Wolfgang Rihm. Although his fastidious ear for instrumental colour show Webern’s influence, the hyper-romantic rhetoric with which Searle handled his harmonies owes more to Berg and Schoenberg, as well as a streak of more traditional ‘Britishness’ which never lost.