Fantasy is the first of a three movement suite for flute and piano, commissioned by flutist Carl Gutowski. This first piece was written as a wedding gift to his niece who I’d never met, but we discussed her and her betrothed, their personalities and their expectations for the marriage. From this, I looked for ways to evoke those qualities musically.
To honor their relationship, piano and flute would be equal partners. Independent contrapuntal lines would convey their separate lives now intertwined. Each voice would take turns as leader and follower. Adventurousness could be typified by an unexpected turn of phrase or harmony while their playfulness could be a frisky game of chase.
As I began to write, I took all this with a grain of salt and sketched whatever came to mind.
The flute begins with an upward climb, and the piano responds with a gently pulsing accompaniment, as though listening to its partner. The music flows between discussion, duet, argument and canonic imitation. Celebration of their commitment came as a song-like anthem. The words “and we will walk together” came to me, and serve as the main rhythm for that section. The instruments fall in and out of sync with each other, but are always linked in harmonious partnership. The work is in a loose rondo form to convey the enduring nature of their relationship through the ever-returning theme of love.
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