Prelude And Ant Fugue With A Crab Canon for Ensemble was composed by Per Nørgård in 1982.
The work was commissioned by Nieuve Ensemble (New Ensemble) in Holland and was premiered in December 82 in Amsterdam.
As the title suggests the work refers to the baroque genre prelude and fugue, but seen through the 20.th century consciousness: The prelude is based - bar for bar - on the famous Bach-prelude in C major from the Well Temperated Piano I, which is reflected as in a prism where the 5 inherent parts are magnified or transposed to other octaves, or its basic rhytm of 8:5:3 is widered to bigger stretches (or reduced to smaller), keeping its golden section - proportion.
The Crab Canon as well as the fugue is inspired by Escher, the Dutch aartist creating the Illusionary Realism (with wrong but convincing perspectives etc.), in the way that a real fugue never is undertaken, but a rush of parts is always interlocking - and in a big hurry. After a slower cadenza-like section the work closes with a combinatioin of the Bach-prelude-ending and the Fugue theme.