Duration: 13 minutes

three pianists at two or three pianos

This recording was performed and edited by the composer himself. It is included in the Album CLOUD AND MIRRORS as a bonus track.

Programme Note

Alan Charlton’s Fantasy, composed in 2011, is another example of his personal Charltonal- ity technique. It can be performed in several ways. Without the use of electronics, it can be performed by three pianists on either two or three pianos. Alternatively, it can be performed on a Disklavier piano from a MIDI file with no live performer; or, as in this version, it can be performed by one player, played into an electronic piano, sequenced and edited. The pianist plays the third piano part in the score. For every pitch that is played, another pitch is produced electronically by the sequencing software, according to the pitch mapping which accompanies the score. The effect will be that all three piano parts notated in the score will be played by the Disklavier, producing twice as many pitches as the pianist is playing.
However complex this technique may sound, it still affords the composer enough freedom to create a work with a rich and highly original harmonic language, characterised by unusual progressions, added-note and bitonal harmo- nies reminiscent of jazz, Berg or Messiaen, innovative chord spacings and a wide range of textures that encompass the whole range of the piano.
Fantasy is in a loose ABA form, with an introductory Andante Rubato, an Allegro which develops into a Furioso and a concluding section that returns to the material of the introduction. The piece is marked by many changes of tex- ture and tempo, maintaining a rhapsodic feel throughout. It also has some richly chromatic passages, and constantly plays on the borders of tonality.