Piano solo – Anastasia Fantasía: Reflections

Piano Solo - Anastasia Fantasía: Reflections 

This quasi-improvisational piece begins before we are listening, as though walked in while the pianist was already playing the music. As we listen to the Anastasia Fantasía we get the sense that we are eavesdropping, as if we are listening through a keyhole... 

The piece was composed at the request of Joanna Ezrin for pianist Michelle Bi. The Fantasia is subtitled Reflections because the music is a replication of responses perceived through the vibration of piano strings. Like a stone tossed into a pond causes ripples across the water, this piece is a reconstruction of vibrations emerging from the void of what dwells on the other side of the piano strings. The personification of this Fantasia as Anastasia is a result of the composer listening to recordings by pianist Anastasia Huppmann. The piece reflects something of that pianist’s style of performance. 

The Fantasia is structured as a bipartite sonata form in the key of C minor, although any connection with the sonatas of Scarlatti is tenuous at best. The opening phrase feels like an impressionist prelude with the theme in the lower register and the sonorities unfolding in a cascading series of 16th notes. This phrase leads to a sequence reminiscent of Bach that by force of harmonic inevitably leads to a cadence marked Pesante that links the two main parts of the exposition. We follow the theme through uncharted harmonic realms until it reaches a climactic passage marked Con brio that concludes the exposition. Four bars of the principal motive evolve into an episodic chromatic passage that leads in stepwise contrary motion built on major 2nd intervals to a restatement of the transitional sequence this time transposed to lead via a dominant pedal extension to the restatement of the main theme. This passage leads to the Coda marked Maestoso that brings the Fantasia to a dramatic conclusion. 

Piano solo – Anastasia Fantasía: ReflectionsJames Domine
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