Four Oboe Fantasies
for solo oboe
Each of these pieces is based on motives taken from “Twelve Fantasias for Flute without Bass”, by Georg Philipp Telemann. This concept was suggested by Akris Hung who, while planning a recital of all the Telemann Fantasias (played on oboe), decided new compositions would help bring variety to her program, but she wanted them to relate directly to the Telemann Fantasias. I therefore based my Four Fantasies on motives from Telemann’s Fantasias as follows:
Fantasy No. 1 — Fantasia No. 3
Fantasy No. 2 — Fantasia No. 5
Fantasy No. 3 — Fantasia No. 7
Fantasy No. 4 — Fantasia Nos. 10 and 12
In my mind, this piece is very fantasy-like in that its character is constantly changing. It is as if a person is daydreaming, thinking of different events or people that bring different moods or personalities into the fantasy.
There are two characters in this Fantasy: one is fast and energetic, while the other is slow and calm. Furthermore, they seem to have some disagreements, not only about tempo, but also about which note, chord, sometimes even which tonality they should be playing. At the beginning, the faster music is centered on G-natural, but the slower personality interrupts it with a contrasting, yet calming G-sharp. During the fantasy, however, the slow personality engages its challenger in a lively debate and eventually confuses it to a point where, in the end, it wins the argument with its original quiet G-sharp.
This piece is a simple, slow and expressive melody. Unlike the previous two Fantasies, it presents only one mood. Still, because of its unpredictable phrasing, it seems more evocative of an unstructured daydream than a well-defined song.
The most striking features of this Fantasy are unpredictable and energetic rhythms and dissonant chord outlines borrowed from jazz. Though it is not really meant to sound like jazz, perhaps one could think of it as the thoughts of a Baroque composer who was daydreaming about jazz.
(duration ca. 15 min.)