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Fantasie in F minor D.940

Franz Schubert (b. 1797 - d. 1828)

Cedric Pescia (photo credit: Uwe Neumann)

Cedric Pescia (photo credit: Uwe Neumann)

Composer
Franz Schubert (b. 1797 - d. 1828)
Composition Year
1828
Work Movements
1. Allegro molto moderato
2. Largo
3. Scherzo
4. Allegro vivace
Artists
Philippe Cassard [piano], Cédric Pescia [piano]

Programme Note Writer:
© Ian Fox

This Fantasie was written in January 1828 and is dedicated to Karoline Esterhazy, which has led to speculation over a possible romance, particularly when the delectable slow movement is taken into account.  It is regarded by many as one of Schubert's greatest creations for the piano and is the last of four such duet works. It is a full-scale sonata in four linked movements: Allegro molto moderato - Largo - Scherzo - Allegro vivace.  The haunting main theme of the first movement, one of Schubert's most glorious creations, is an early example of cyclical writing which was to be much developed by 19th century romantic composers.

The opening movement begins straight away with the ardent, melancholic main theme. A stronger counter-melody appears as second subject with emphatic chording and the music swings between the peaceful and stormy moods of these themes. The movement sinks in deep contemplation until the second theme shakes it awake again and, after a short pause, leads straight into the lovely slow movement. Its melody has all the grace of an operatic aria, complete with Italianate decoration. Some writers feel this is a declaration of love for the dedicatee, others suggest it may relate to the admiration the composer felt for Paganini whom he had just heard playing and claimed he could detect angels singing in his music. Whatever its intention it is both charming and witty, with a strong central sequence similar to the thunderous second subject of the first movement.

Again a sudden pause and the Scherzo theme bursts in with all the vigour of Beethoven; it is in three-part form. Another dramatic pause and the haunting opening theme of the first movement returns to launch the Finale. This leads to a fugue, unusual in Schubert's writing, although it is not a strict fugue, Schubert was never too keen on formality, but it provides some thrilling moments as its counterpoint builds to a splendid crescendo. Then the opening theme returns for a heart-rending farewell appearance.

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Fantasie in F minor D.940

Composer: Franz Schubert (b. 1797 - d. 1828)
Performance date: Saturday 28th June 2014
Venue: St. Brendan's Church, Bantry, Co Cork, Ireland

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Composer Franz Schubert (b. 1797 - d. 1828)
Work Title Fantasie in F minor D.940
Composition Year 1828
Work Movements 1. Allegro molto moderato
2. Largo
3. Scherzo
4. Allegro vivace
Artist(s) Philippe Cassard [piano], Cédric Pescia [piano]
Performance Date Saturday 28th June 2014
Performance Venue St. Brendan's Church, Bantry, Co Cork, Ireland
Event Crespo Recital Series
Duration 00:18:39
Recording Engineer Richard McCullough, RTE
Instrumentation Category Duo
Instrumentation 2pf
Programme Note Writer © Ian Fox

This Fantasie was written in January 1828 and is dedicated to Karoline Esterhazy, which has led to speculation over a possible romance, particularly when the delectable slow movement is taken into account.  It is regarded by many as one of Schubert's greatest creations for the piano and is the last of four such duet works. It is a full-scale sonata in four linked movements: Allegro molto moderato - Largo - Scherzo - Allegro vivace.  The haunting main theme of the first movement, one of Schubert's most glorious creations, is an early example of cyclical writing which was to be much developed by 19th century romantic composers.

The opening movement begins straight away with the ardent, melancholic main theme. A stronger counter-melody appears as second subject with emphatic chording and the music swings between the peaceful and stormy moods of these themes. The movement sinks in deep contemplation until the second theme shakes it awake again and, after a short pause, leads straight into the lovely slow movement. Its melody has all the grace of an operatic aria, complete with Italianate decoration. Some writers feel this is a declaration of love for the dedicatee, others suggest it may relate to the admiration the composer felt for Paganini whom he had just heard playing and claimed he could detect angels singing in his music. Whatever its intention it is both charming and witty, with a strong central sequence similar to the thunderous second subject of the first movement.

Again a sudden pause and the Scherzo theme bursts in with all the vigour of Beethoven; it is in three-part form. Another dramatic pause and the haunting opening theme of the first movement returns to launch the Finale. This leads to a fugue, unusual in Schubert's writing, although it is not a strict fugue, Schubert was never too keen on formality, but it provides some thrilling moments as its counterpoint builds to a splendid crescendo. Then the opening theme returns for a heart-rending farewell appearance.