Fantasy (2011)

Duration: 13 minutes

Three pianists at two pianos


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Programme Note

Fantasy is the second piece composed using a radical new harmonic technique that has become known as 'Charltonality', the first being Ajante. This results in a rich and highly original harmonic language characterised by unusual progressions, added note and bitonal harmonies reminiscent of jazz, Berg and Messiaen, innovative chord spacings and a wide range of textures that encompass the whole range of the piano.

In contrast to Ajante, Fantasy has a more rhapsodic feel. It is in a loose ABA form, with an introduction (A), an allegro section (B) and a concluding section (A) that returns to the material of the introduction. The piece is marked by many changes of texture and tempo, maintaining a rhapsodic feel throughout.

The introduction begins with a chord sequence that ends in C and is followed by a series of exploratory ideas and textures that lead away from and then return to C. The allegro is interrupted several times by slower music, and after a last, furious burst, the slower material returns for good. There are some rich chromatic passages interrupted periodically by more tonal ideas, some of which perhaps recall Poulenc, before eventually ending with the chord sequence which opened the work and resolving onto C.

Copyright Alan Charlton 2013 all rights reserved
Last revised 22 February 2013