Prelude for Diana was commissioned by Dale Kemmerer through the All Souls Unitarian Universalist Church 2011 Service Auction as a birthday present for his girlfriend, Diana Roberts. I intended to write a simple fanfare, but as I worked the piece took on a life of its own.
The piece is in three parts: An opening slow chorale-like section, a faster fugal middle section (based on imitation in the various parts), and a final section that combines elements of the opening two sections. However, the music is continuous, with no breaks between sections. It lasts about 6:40.
The proclamatory opening six-note motive is formed from the musical letters contained in the names “Diana” (D-A-A) and “Kemmerer” (E-E-E). One of Diana’s interests - stone crosses from Mexico - supplied a second motive. One of the archetypal bits of musical iconography is the cross motive: a four-note motive that circles around itself - a note, a step down, two steps up, and a step down to the original note. It gets its name because lines drawn between the notes will form a cross. There is hardly a bar in the piece that doesn’t contain one or both of these motives.
Prelude for Diana was composed in April 2012 and scored that April and June. The score was notated in Sibelius, and produced in Digital Performer using the Vienna Symphonic Library.