Fantasy for violin and orchestra
Gehman, Scott Harwood
Master of Music
Fantasy for Violin and Orchestra is written for solo violin, three flutes (alto flute), two oboes, two clarinets in B-flat, two horns in F, two trumpets in C, timpani, bass drum, two tom-toms, snare drum, cymbal, sizzle cymbal, crash cymbal, bell tree, tamtam, triangle, large and small wind chimes, vibraphone, marimba, xylophone, glockenspiel, celesta, chimes, and strings. Its duration is approximately fourteen and a half minutes. To unify its tonal language, serial procedure based upon the twelve tone technique of Arnold Schoenberg, is used to organize the harmonies and melodies of Fantasy for Violin and Orchestra. However, the mirrored structure of the row reduces by half the number of permutations available, so other techniques are also employed. The first method gathers all odd and even numbered pitches separately resulting in the order. After renumbering this new series, it is processed again. A total of ten rows are yielded given this type of logic. This version is then processed with the odd-even idea describe above. Fantasy for Violin and Orchestra is organized by the form A B A. The opening section may be characterized by light orchestration predominated by muted strings, soft percussion and serene melodies utilizing the middle and lower registers of the solo violin. As the soloist fades, activated chord, pitch wheels and denser clusters in the woodwinds and strings provoke a feeling of agitation, heightening at measure 47. Here, the violin changes its character to one of anger, providing the mood necessary for the transition to the second section. The agitation of the first half of B is sustained by thick chords in the strings, staccato flurries in the woodwinds and a four voice canon in the brass. Hence, the soloist, using extremes of register and dynamics, multiple stops, and jagged melodic lines, fights for dominance. The mood abruptly changes with the entrance of the 'C motive at measure 63, where activated diatonic clusters in the flutes and clarinets accompany soft trills in the solo violin. The strings' entrance at 78, also diatonically built begins a drive to the second climax of the work at measure 94, preparing the way for the cadenza. Since a cadenza is dramatically static, transitory elements must be added so that it functions as a transition. A gradual reduction of percussion accompaniment and an increase of consonant and lyrical melodies achieve this goal. Off-stage chimes and harmonics in the solo violin preface the last section, composed of previous and new material. This section contains the largest and longest climax of the entire piece. Following a lengthy release, opening material appears, closing the work as quietly as it began.