Prelude, Pop Tune and Fugue for solo flute was composed in 1967 as a commission from Samtida Musik, the Swedish society for contemporary music. In part at least, the context provided the impulse for replacing the Adagio in the Bachian conception of Prelude–Adagio–Fugue with a pop tune: contemporary music lovers are fonder of melodies than lovers of modern music — this is said in the spirit of Erik Satie!
More seriously: a piece for a monodic instrument is in effect a long, long melody — even if harmony and polyphony are implied. It was Bach himself who created the unsurpassable ideal for this type of composition and, deeply conscious of this, I quote in the fugue of Bach’s themes from Die Kunst der Fuge.
Prelude, Pop Tune and Fugue is one of the very first works in a style that has been called neo-tonal, a style that developed in the middle of the 1960s after a radical youthful period — a style that in my own personal view is at least equally radical. After writing tunes is — or at least was — strictly forbidden.
© Erkki Salmenhaara Instrumentation
Works for Solo Instrument Premiere
Sanfrid Schön, Stockholm, March 31, 1968. Commisioned by / dedications
Commissioned by Samtida Musik, Stockholm.
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