Fanfares & Fantasies
Large Ensemble: orchestra
Fanfares & Fantasies was composed in 1999 as a commission from Michael Morgan and the Oakland East Bay Symphony to open their 2000 season and to celebrate the new millennium. My intent was to capture that celebration, but to also recognize the complexity of the world at that time; hence the idea of alternating “fanfares” with more introspective “fantasies”, though the work also traces an overall trajectory of darkness to light. The initial fanfare is pained, with dissonant intervals in the trumpets. It leads to a fantasy of swirling colors and disembodied themes. These two initial sections introduce all of the significant thematic material for the work. The second fanfare is yet darker, in the guttural lower register of the trombones. The second fantasy, a mensuration passacaglia (in which a repeated theme accelerates each time it is repeated), begins with a tuba solo followed by a duet for bassoon and muted violas and then cello with woodwinds dancing drunkenly overhead. It builds in intensity through a series of string passages, reaching a climax with the brass that leads directly into the third fanfare which features trumpets and trombones in canonical conversation. This explodes into a virtuosic triple fugue that includes all manner of fugal devices and climaxes to a final fanfare, which is transformed into a luminescent and triumphant F# major.