The age of phantasy

June 29 2012

Bridge, Scherzo Phantastick (string quartet), 1901

Bridge, Phantasie String Quartet, 1905

Ireland, Phantasie Trio (piano trio), 1906

Bridge, Phantasie Piano Trio, 1907

Bridge, Phantasie Piano Quartet, 1910

Bowen, Phantasie Trio (piano trio), c 1910

Vaughan Williams, Phantasy Quintet (string quintet), 1912

Goossens, Phantasy Quartet (string quartet), 1915

Holst, Phantasy Quartet on British Folk Songs (string quartet), 1916

Bowen, Phantasy for Viola and Piano, 1918

Bax, Phantasy for Viola and Orchestra, 1920

Stanford, Phantasy for Horn and String Quartet, 1922

Howells, Sine Nomine: A Phantasy, 1922 (soprano, tenor, chorus, orchestra)

Goossens, Phantasy Sextet (string sextet), 1923

Coates, The Selfish Giant, Phantasy (orchestra), 1925

Coates, The Three Bears, Phantasy (orchestra), 1926

Bax, Phantasy Sonata for Viola and Harp, 1927

Imogen Holst, Phantasy Quartet (string quartet), 1928

Coates, Cinderella, Phantasy (orchestra), 1930

Bowen, Phantasie Quintet (bass clarinet and string quartet), 1932

Britten, Phantasy Quintet (WoO) (string quintet), 1932

Britten, Phantasy (opus 2) (oboe and string trio), 1932

Arnold, Phantasy for String Quartet “Vita Abundans”, 1941

Dunhill, Phantasy Suite for Clarinet and Piano, 1941

Goossens, Phantasy Concerto for Piano and Orchestra, 1942

Moeran, Phantasy Quartet (oboe and string trio), 1946

Bax, Phantasie in Four Pieces for Piano, 1947

Doubtless others. Nothing by Delius, who preferred fantasy. York Bowen was a good composer, at least when writing on a small scale. Arnold later wrote fantasies. I don’t think anyone has made this (not entirely pointless) list before.

Did the fashion come from Walter Willson Cobbett’s chamber music competitions, established in 1905, for works in one movement reflecting the spirit and structure of the Elizabethan fancie or phantasy? Were Bridge’s and others’ early pieces submitted to Cobbett? The answer to that seems to be yes. Did he start the revival of interest in Elizabethan music? Did Tippett and Britten discover it for themselves?

Britten, opus 2, Gernot Schmalfuß, oboe; Andreas Krecher, violin; Niklas Schwarz, viola; Armin Fromm, cello

One Response to “The age of phantasy”

  1. davidderrick Says:

    I suppose this was also the age of faeries, or did they come a little earlier?


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