Performed in Dublin, Birr, Clifden, Dún Laoghaire, Waterford and Listowel between 16th and 22nd February 2019 by baroque violinist Claire Duff and harpsichord player Benjamin Alard.
St. Finian's Church in Dublin 2 on Saturday 16th February 2019
Listen to a high quality audio recording, recorded at Station House Theatre, Clifden on Tuesday 19th Feburary 2019:
Commissioned by Music Network for Baroque violin and harpsichord, this piece was first performed in a programme surrounded by the music of Bach. I drew on some general impressions of Bach's music, the style of the period, and also the particular qualities of sound inherent in these two contrasting instruments from another era. Open strings, harmonics and arpeggiations create stretches of rich sonority from the violin, while the harpsichord's plucked strings make sharp incisions into these lines. Alongside rhythmic passages there are free sections where the music escapes into a timeless space.
'Fantasia' was a form often used by Bach, described as 'the play of imaginative invention'; the term implies freedom, unpredictability, an element of surprise. As the music flows, moving forward and reaching upward, it takes some twists and turns, and a resonance from the past filters through.
- Jane O'Leary