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fantasia


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(It.), fantaisie (Fr.), Fantasie (Ger.). Fantasy or fancy. Generally a comp. in which form is of secondary importance, although the 16th‐cent. It. fantasia was an instr. comp. in strict imitation of a vocal motet. In Eng. in the 16th and 17th cents. the term ‘fancy’ was used for comps. for both kbd. and str. instr., notably consorts of viols. Such comps. were usually contrapuntal and in several sections often with a common theme, thus being an early form of variations. In the 20th cent. the chamber mus. patron Cobbett revived the form, preferring the spelling phantasy. Sweelinck and Bach used the term fantasia for their organ comps. in which the character of the mus. suggested an improvisational character or the play of free fancy. In the 19th cent. the term was applied by Schumann, Chopin, and others to short mood pieces, e.g. Schumann's Fantasiestücke. Other meanings of the word are: (1) a comp. comprising a string of tunes, e.g. from an opera, as in Liszt's pf. fantasies on operatic arias.(2) Development section in sonata‐form, i.e. free fantasia.(3) Title of film first shown in 1940, made by Walt Disney, in which cartoons (some merely abstract patterns) were set to famous pieces of music played by the Philadelphia Orch. conducted by Stokowski. The items were: J. S. Bach's Toccata and Fugue in D minor (transcr. Stokowski); Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker Suite; Ponchielli's Dance of the Hours; Beethoven's Pastoral Symphony; Dukas's L'Apprenti sorcier; Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring; Mussorgsky's Night on the Bare Mountain; and Schubert's Ave Maria. See film music.

(1) a comp. comprising a string of tunes, e.g. from an opera, as in Liszt's pf. fantasies on operatic arias.

(2) Development section in sonata‐form, i.e. free fantasia.

(3) Title of film first shown in 1940, made by Walt Disney, in which cartoons (some merely abstract patterns) were set to famous pieces of music played by the Philadelphia Orch. conducted by Stokowski.

Subjects: Music.


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