Uploaded on Nov 19, 2011
It is very difficult to capture something as transient as a melodic idea. Some of the most brilliant melodies may only exist for a fleeting instant in time, after which no amount of humming or singing to oneself will reproduce them. This is because each one is unique; inspired or evoked by an event, emotion or moment during life.
Many modern compositions are written to explore ways of creating an entirely new sound, timbre or rhythmic structure. This composition is not. For us, music is about capturing only the most beautiful and powerful melodies and assembling them in a way which makes sense; expressing ideas and emotions in a way which an audience can recognize. The late-romantic period piano concertos (e.g. Rachmaninoff, Tchaikovsky) succeeded in doing this and hence were a large influence in our style of writing.
We did not try to sit down and 'come up with' the themes in our piece, nor did we constrain ourselves to a very specific composition framework. Instead we let life inspire us, writing only when we felt like it and constantly reviewing each other's work.
About the Fantastica Concerto
The piece was written over a period of about two and a half years. When Chris decided to write a piano concerto, Tim joined him to write the orchestral parts. Although most of the orchestration was written by Tim, and most of the piano part was written by Chris, both of them swapped roles occasionally. Also, with Chris at university and Tim at home, they had to correspond by email to write the piece together.
I -- Allegro Agitato
The opening introduces a dark, turbulent and mysterious theme in A minor; variations of this appear throughout the movement. The piece progresses through increasingly frantic, agitated searching passages, but no resolution is achieved until the middle of the movement where a dream-like transition leads into a longing romance. The virtuosic cadenza leads into the final dramatic variation of the initial theme, ending the movement in a subdued, but unresolved manner.
II -- Adagio Espressivo
The delicate opening theme in G major portrays peace and serenity, although there are still vague echoes of unease from the first movement. The second theme in A major represents freedom and determination. An extended orchestral passage is a point of contrast and transition, during which the initially bright mood rapidly darkens, transforming into almost a memory of previous anguish. The piano enters abruptly, with a mounting frenzied passage, however the conflict finally resolves and progresses triumphantly onward. The finale of the piece consists of increasingly powerful variations on the second A major theme. This movement features solos in the wind instruments and the piano has a more prominent role, building to a climax during the finale.
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