By Kenneth Girard
For Flute, Clarient in Bb and Piano
Duration: 9 minutes
The work is written in a free-pantonal language and is primarily polyphonic. The Fantasia is a dramatic narrative and, as the title suggects, the piece changes character frequently and often suddenly. The opening begins with a powerful, clarion-like call in the piano (marked “con fuoco”) — indeed the idea of this indication (“with fire, passion”) permeates the piece. During the unfoldment of the work, there are numerous juxtapositions of dynamics, textures, and rhythmic densities, as well motet-like areas and antiphonal structures. Strong declarations change abruptly to moments of much tenderness — the degree of 'fire' ebbs and flows as the music moves through mumerous climatic moments. As the work nears its conclusion, the intensity builds from a relatively quiet, four-voice polyphonic section to a heraldic, powerfully arpeggiated, repeated chord surging upward and spanning nearly the entire range of the piano while the flute and clarinet double the piano's upper register. Throughout these final moments the piano puncutates each of the arpeggiations by repeating two low pitches and the fantasia concludes as the pianist reasserts the pitches three times at fff — as if the hammer-like blows of cathedral bells are resounding into eternity.