Concerto Fantastique

Ralph Shapey

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Publisher: Theodore Presser Company
Print Status: Rental

Quick Overview

Each movement of the "Concerto fantastique" is a complete unit by itself. However, I always write what I call one-fabric music. In other words, everything is set up in the beginning, and everything else comes directly out of the material of the first movement. So, although each movement is a unit by itself, the maxi-form is really a kind of grand sonata-allegro form. The first movement is the exposition, the second and third the development, and the fourth is the recapitulation and the coda.

At the very end are the words ?God help me!? As I finished off the last note of the piece, what immediately flashed into my mind ?like a streak of lightning ? was the last quartet of Beethoven, and the last movement of that last quartet, which says at the top, ?The Difficult Resolution ? Muss es sein? Es muss sein! Es muss sein!? [Must it be? It must be, it must be!] And I thought, well, I can?t do that, but in a way his writing that down is like saying ?God help me? in English. So I had to put down ?God help me.? I just had to put it down, for my own sake, for my own self, maybe.

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Additional Information

Commission Commissioned by AT&T, in honor of the joint centennials of the University of Chicago and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Composition Date 1989
Duration 00:54:00
Orchestration 2(Picc.) 3(E.H.) 3(Picc./Cl. in D/EbCl.) 3 - 4 4 5 1;Timp. Perc. Pno. Cel. Str.
Premiere November 21, 1991. Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Ralph Shapey, conductor, Orchestra Hall, Chicago, IL