Commissioned by the Blue Ridge Bassoon Quartet (Richard Meek, Andrew Witherington, Yvonne Kershaw, and Carol Bernstorf), Millennium Fantasy is an adventure through time. This piece rotates between shape note hymn tunes and music (inspired by or arranged) from different periods of music history.
The piece opens with an open and free medieval chant (unbarred), giving the ensemble complete freedom of expression. The Baroque section features an arrangement of a very famous and recognizable Bach Fugue (BWV 874). The Classical section features an arrangement of the shape note tune "Detroit, C.M.". In the Romantic period section, I avail myself of the opportunity to write a beautiful tune to show off the lush lyricism capable of the bassoon. A brief snapshot of Debussy's Reflections in the Water leads up into the 20th century which is followed by very brief quotes from Copland's Fanfare for the Common Man, Glenn Miller's In the Mood, Sousa's Stars and Stripes Forever, and Grainger's Irish Tune from County Derry. All of these are framed by beautiful shape note tunes and ending in a very proper classical manner.
A terrific way to cover performance techniques from different periods, it is sure to be an audience favorite!
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