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Scherzi di fantasia

image: Terry Smith

first performance:

Ruisi Quartet

Moscow State University

25 January 2020

duration: 10 minutes

programme note:

It is about as easy to wrestle with ectoplasm as it is to pin meaning on a fantasy; and certainly, the enigmatic persona of the present fantasia offers few clues. But to this commentator, it seems to belong to the distinguished British music tradition of landscape processionals, of a series of dissolving & reassembling perspectives unfolding across a nine-minute length. Its constituent facets are distinctive in character. We hear blocks of sound, glissandi, repeated note figures, tremolos, fragmentary jazz riffs and ticking mechanisms appearing and reappearing. Coordinating them all is the anchoring pitch of F, the tonal ringmaster as it were.

(David Wright)

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