THE USE OF FANTASIES IN PIANO WORKS FROM MOZART TO RACHMANINOFF
MetadataShow full item record
The Fantasy is a very attractive genre in piano works. The main purpose of my dissertation is to illustrate how composers developed the Fantasy and used this genre in different ways, exploring both technical and musical innovations in expanding the original form of the Fantasy. Composers throughout history used existing and newly created techniques to emphasize their musical ideas. In the 19th-century, virtuoso pieces were often vehicles for demonstrating musical imagination, not just for bravura spectacle. Many composers were very imaginative technically as well as musically when they used the Fantasy form. The topic and repertoire appealed to my desire in improving my musicianship while surmounting technical challenges. The Fantasy includes a great variety of forms and styles through all musical periods. The Fantasy first developed in the 16th-century and was composed of fugal and strict imitative counterpoint. In the 17th-century, composers added an improvisational dimension to their fantasies. Both imitative and improvisational types of fantasies reached a culmination in J.S. Bach's large-scale keyboard Fantasias. During the classical period, Mozart wrote Fantasies in the tradition of German Baroque organ music, being primarily concerned with contrasts in style, texture, key, and thematic material. Beethoven fused the Fantasy into multi-movement Sonata form thereby changing the form of the traditional Sonata. The idea of fusing the Fantasy with Sonata form was taken up Romantic Era composers in their large-scale multi-movement or multi-sectional works and character pieces. In the 20th-century, the Fantasia demonstrated many historical features, ranging from old forms to newly-created ones. I feel that the works in my program express great compositional imagination. Therefore, as a performer, I was encouraged to look deeply within myself for musical growth so as to be able to best express the composers' ideas.