Montuno and Fugue on a Popular Cuban Melody
In the Montuno and Fugue on a Popular Cuban Melody, for two pianos, I take my lead from the baroque tradition of pairing an improvisatory piece (prelude, fantasia, or toccata, for example) with a piece in strict imitative counterpoint (fugue). Here, the improvisatory section is based on the montuno section of a Cuban son, a genre of popular song originating in the 1920s or thereabouts. Traditionally, in the montuno section of a Cuban son, a chorus sings a refrain in alternation with a solo singer, who improvises lyrics between the refrains. Here I try to approximate this practice by writing out “improvised” passages that alternate with presentations of the coro melody. The ensuing fugue has a subject derived from the montuno’s main theme.
This piece was written for the Nyaho-Garcia duo. Recording by Susanna Garcia and William Chapman Nyaho from live performance September 17, 2004, Angelle Concert Hall, University of Louisiana at Lafayette.
Montuno and Fugue