A Mir Prelude and Fugue

Diana McIntosh
6 min

A Mir Prelude and Fugue (6 mins.) for solo piano - Russia’s historic Mir Space Station was launched in 1986 and was in orbit until 2001. Reference to Mir in my Prelude and Fugue is nebulous and might only be obvious to the exceptionally perceptive! I thought about the Mir, and imagined a Prelude and Fugue being heard in outer space, instead of in a concert hall. I think Glenn Gould would have approved! My title, A Mir Prelude and Fugue, is also a bit of a play on the word “Mir” - M-I-R. My piece is a mere - or a small - Prelude and Fugue. I didn’t intend to “describe” the Mir in space. But the beginning of the prelude suggests lift-off, and, at the end of the 3-part fugue, it seems to go into orbit, and disappear. The Fugue, in fact, fades out in the higher piano notes, but the pianist keeps moving his fingers over the keys. So, the audience will “see” the craft disappear into space - or think it’s a remarkably quiet piano! (The piece was written in a mir 5 weeks - but who cares?) Commissioned by the CBC in celebration of Glenn Gould's 75th anniversary.