Alap, a Prelude to Contrapunctus IX of the Art of Fugue
ALAP was composed in 2001 for the Brentano Quartet as part of their project of uniting new works with parts of the ART OF FUGUE. My piece is intended to precede Contrapunctus IX, and is based on material extracted from the main subject of the ART OF FUGUE. But it begins with a non-tonal contemporary view of this material, and evolves (or, speaking historically, devolves) into a progressively more diatonic environment, finally ending with a kind of dominant cadence in D, the key of Bach's great work, after which the Contrapunctus is played. The title refers to the opening section of a raga, in which the material of the whole is presented in fragmentary form.