• Poul Ruders
  • Star Prelude And Love Fugue (1990)

  • Edition Wilhelm Hansen Copenhagen (World)
  • pf
  • 6 min

Programme Note

Star Prelude and Love Fugue is the fruit of “a wonderful stay in Tokyo in March 1988” (the composer’s words). The two pieces were composed in February 1990, and they are dedicated to Japanese pianist Aki Takahashi, who gave the premiere performance at the Lerchenborg Musikdage on 3 August 1990.

The prelude is a fantasia on the prelude of Act Two of Poul Ruders’ opera Tycho (1986), about Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe (which should explain the title).

The theme of the Love Fugue is taken from the opening bars of another earlier Ruders’ work, namely the a cappella motet Charitas Nunquam Excidit (which is Latin for “love never ceases”).

The prelude is pure minimalism, with phase shifting, i.e. metrical displacements between right and left hand; normally, Ruders would use the so-called change-ringing technique in such cases, but not in this instance.

The following fugue is purged of the genre’s traditional gravitas, as is already signalled by the expression mark 'Swinging'. Its initial eleven bars quote the motet, but there after everything is newly composed.

- Per Erland Rasmussen, 2001