Guillaume Balay (1871-1943) served in the French military as a prolific Cornet player, having won first place in the 1894 Cornet Award competition at the National Academy of Music in Paris. His compositions were popular in the Cornet and brass repertoire at the time, including his Prélude Et Ballade, adaptable to Cornet or Saxhorn with Piano accompaniment.
This Balay work remains within the brass repertoire to this day and is suitable for intermediate to advanced level players. The Prélude is in 4/4 meter and exploits the full range of the instruments. There is also much use of flourishing semiquaver passages. The Ballade is a much more measured than the first movement and is in 2/4 time. The texture is predominantly melody-dominated homophony with the occasional use of call-and-response between the melody instrument and Piano accompaniment. This quirky, two-movement piece by Balay provides the intermediate to advanced Cornet or Saxhorn player with a fun, alternative performance piece.