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Fantasia I

Fantasia I

  • Von Stefania Neonato
  • Version 17.08.2010
  • Medienformat CD
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Preis 19,66 €


How would it be to listen to Beethoven's improvisations at the fortepiano? To be there when Mozart wrote down his extemporaneous preludes? How marvelous it would be to sit next to Charles Burney, the 18th century travelling critic, and to listen to Carl Philip Emanuel Bach improvising - in a trance - at his beloved clavichord! The art of improvising (phantasieren, in German) was regarded by Heinrich Christoph Koch and other 18th century theorists as the first stage of musical invention, "the most truthful representation of the artist", his way of arousing "the activity of his genius". The term phantasieren was used by Haydn, "as the performance of the process of invention, the pre-compositional search for ideas upon which the musical discourse will eventually elaborate" (Annette Richards). The "free fantasia" - known as a genre in the 18th century and of which C.Ph.E.Bach was the point of reference - underwent fast changes, being influenced by several other genres as the sonata, the capriccio, the prelude, the toccata and the variations. The taste for the bizarre, the extemporaneous, the picturesque and the witty were absorbed into more solid forms. Certainly Mozart had C.Ph.E.Bach in mind when he composed his fragments (KV 397, KV 383c, KV 396) and when he conceived the daring harmonic shifts of the Fantasies in c minor (KV 475) and C major (KV 394). But unlike his predecessor, Mozart gave a clear structure to most of these pieces: a sonata in several movements underlies KV 475 and a sonata form inspires KV 396 (which is nonetheless a "free fantasia"), whereas KV 394 is a prelude and fugue. He rarely gives the impression of losing direction, the only exceptions being in the d minor Fantasy, right before the Allegretto and in the Prelude KV 394, with it's endless modulations. Mozart's drama originates within a strong structure and the power of it's musical gestures resides in their concatenation. Haydn named his fantasy Capriccio, masterly concealing a rondo - sonata form. A letter to the publisher Artaria shows that Haydn asked for the last keyboard pieces by C. Ph. E. Bach (Kenner und Liebhaber V-VI) in 1788, the year of Bach's death. A year later, he composed this Capriccio, "an exercise in humor, a 'picturesque' piece, a tour the force of comedic gesture" (A.Richards). The several surprises regarding tempo, key-shifts and physical dexterity make of this piece a particularly enjoyable music to play and to listen to. Haydn adopts whatever "trick" to destabilize the audience and to distract the listener from perceiving the underlying form. With his Fantasy op.77 (1809) Beethoven restores this genre to an almost lost earlier tradition, the one inaugurated by C.Ph.E.Bach. Carl Czerny, Beethoven's pupil, considers this fantasy as the closest example to his master's way of phantasieren. In the composer's words, "one improvises properly only if one yields oneself freely to exactly what one feels". This piece shows a richness and variety, unknown to many others of it's kind. The first part is a true "free fantasia"; it's musical gestures do not tend to a goal and remain suspended in absence of cadences and displacing rests. Nonetheless, the apparent inconsistency of the musical material is unified by more or less hidden clues (the abrupt beginning scale, the repeated notes of the Adagio, the rising thirds). The whole first section sounds as an introduction to the "right" continuation of the piece, a heavenly theme and variations in the "true" tonality of B major which concludes, bombastically, the Fantasy.


Titel: Fantasia I
Release-Datum: 17.08.2010
Etikett: CD Baby
Medienformat: CD
UPC: 884502749717
Produkt #: SRD274971
Dieses Produkt ist ein besonderer Auftrag