Op. 5 - Two Fantasies

for Solo Piano

(2006-08/2011-12)

I. Chromatic Fantasy
II. Fantasy Romance

 

Program Notes: The Two Fantasies, Op. 5 for solo piano began what would become a long and consistent journey and exploration of the piano and the literature written for it. As I began learning about music in my first years at college, the piano was always the instrument that captivated my attention the most. It seemed (and still does) that there is not a single emotion or idea that one cannot find a way to express on the instrument. The Chromatic Fantasy was written in the winter of 2007 and premiered that spring by the pianist to whom it is dedicated to, Dr. Robert M. Auler, my teacher. The companion piece, Fantasy Romance, was written in the fall of that year and both were extensive revised in 2012. The Chromatic Fantasy opens with a flirtation of the melodic motives that will pervade the piece before quickly being interrupted by a whirlwind of arpeggios that definitively land at the main thematic material hinted at just before. A second slower and sinuous theme enters and soon builds to a playful animato before re-examining the slow material and suddenly transitioning into the first theme. Its second appearance grows into a dense chromatic haze reaching to the end of the keyboard and transitioning into a slow section. This largo duetto, however, swiftly develops into a joyous and hopeful progression that transforms into a jazz-infused stride and snakes its way back into the opening theme. A grandioso re-cap of the second slow theme makes room for a slow and mysterious reflection of the main motivic elements before allowing the main theme to re-enter in its fullest form yet. The Fantasy Romance in E Major is opulent and sentimental. It begins with a slow and heart-felt theme that finds its way through a constantly shifting harmonic accompaniment and builds to a cadential passage that ushers in a brief adagio. The opening theme is then re-introduced and brought to a new height of ecstasy before moving into a romantic tenor theme that finds its way through an array of harmonic accompaniment below (left-hand) and raindrop filigree from above (right hand). The adagio hinted at before reappears in a grander and more sentimental way before being interrupted by a rhythmic scherzando. A languid rubato section builds to a maestoso reinterpretation of the main theme until its original form appears and leads the way to a charging chromatic finale until a flicker of sentiment ends the piece tranquilly.

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Performance History:

-May 7th, 2007; No. 1 – Tyler Hall, Room 41 - SUNY Oswego; Oswego, New York – 6:30PM

-July 15th, 2015; No. 2 - Music at MiMoDa – Paper or Plastik Cafe; West Los Angeles, California – 8PM

-July 18th, 2015; No. 2 - Music Visions Studio; Steinway Gallery; Pasadena, California - 2PM

-April 8th, 2017; No. 2 – Senior Recital; Wellin Hall, Schambach Center; Hamilton University; Clinton, New York

-October 7th, 2017; No. 2 – Regal Eagle House Concert; San Diego, California – 8PM

-October 11th, 2017; No. 2 – Music at MiMoDa – Paper or Plastik Cafe; West Los Angeles, California – 8PM

-October 13th, 2017; No. 2 – Music Vault Academy; Laguna Hills, California – 7:30PM

George N. Gianopoulos

composer