Composition Department

THREE PHANTASY PIECES (2003; revised, 2005)

Daniel Stewart, Viola 
Christopher Martin, Percussion 

I. J.B. [4:26]

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II. R.S. [4:05]

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III. H.B. [7:41]

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Three Phantasy Pieces for Viola and Percussion was commissioned by the Center for New Music at the University of Iowa for Christine Rutledge and Daniel Moore.  Each movement draws its inspiration in turn from three well-known compositions for viola.  The first piece in the set makes oblique reference to the second movement of the Sonata Op. 120, No. 1 for viola and piano by Johannes Brahms.  The next uses as its structural (and motivic) basis the second "Märchenbild" of Robert Schumann and provides a light-hearted foil for the more somber outer movements.

The final piece is a parody of the "Procession of the Pilgrims" from Hector Berlioz's Harold in Italy and is, in essence, a chaconne (a musical form based on the continuous variation of a series of chords).  The gradual unfolding and intensification of the chaconne pattern in both the viola and vibraphone is interrupted at the movement's climax with a modified quotation of the "Canto Religioso" from Berlioz's work.

Claude Baker

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