Fantasy Piece

Allen Brings

About this work:
If the musical language of Fantasy Piece is that of the present, much of its spirit emanates from the past, specifically from the tradition of the Fantasiestck of the Romantic Era. As with the Fantasiestcke of Robert Schumann and similar works by his contemporaries, the title implies an emphasis on unconventional form, an apparently capricious juxtaposition of unexpected musical events, and a mode of expression that is sometimes whimsical, at times even extravagant. In such a work, as Thomas Morley noted as early as 1597, allowances may be made that would not be tolerated in any other kind of composition but, more importantly, "in this way more art [can] be shown than in any other music." Needed to perform my Fantasy Piece are two pianists not only skilled in playing precisely together but also able to play individually in that expressive rubato style cultivated by the Romanticists and their spiritual successors. Fantasy Piece is above all an ensemble piece where, as in jazz, one player typically reacts in certain passages to the way in which the other has interpreted a previous phrase and yet is able to play, when the music requires it, as a single performer endowed with four hands might. Fantasy Piece was completed in 1986 and first performed by Morey Ritt and Donald Pirone at Queens College on September 29, 1994. Score available from Mira Music Associates. Contact: Recorded on Capstone Records CPS-8644 Review: "Allen Brings's chamber music [Capstone CD, "Music da camera by Allen Brings"] is an expression of late 20th Century romanticism—sincere, honest, and tough-minded. His music relies on traditional materials in traditional forms, but there is something about it—a knowingness perhaps—that makes the overall effect more than backward-looking. It may be the particular kind of consciousness of the past that made our own age, when composers can combine elements of several different eras. Does it work as art? Or nostalgia? I don't know yet, but honorable efforts like his (and his fine, understanding interpreters) make me believe the answer may yet be a positive one." Stephen D. Hicken American Record Guide July/August, 1998
Version: piano, four-hands
Year composed: 1986
Duration: 00:09:07
Ensemble type: Keyboard:Piano 4 or More Hands
Instrumentation: 1 Piano,2 Piano soloist(s)
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