Performance Analysis: Fantasy in C Major, Op. 15 (D. 760) (“Wanderer” Fantasy)

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Performance Analysis: Fantasy in C Major, Op. 15 (D. 760) (“Wanderer” Fantasy)

Schubert composed the Fantasy in C Major (“Wanderer” Fantasy) in 1822. This fantasy became a milestone in music history because it was the first time when a composer “integrated a four-movement sonata into a single movement.” Schubert did so by matching the sequence of a traditional four-movement sonata (Allegro, Adagio, Scherzo, Finale) to one big sonata form (exposition, development, recapitulation, coda). This exploration opened a new era of composing romantic music because it created an expanded form with more freedom in theme. Composers in this way were granted more freedom to compose based on their personal imagination and to compose with more virtuosity.
The Fantasy in C Major got its nickname after one of Schubert’s biographers, August Reissmann, discovered the theme in Adagio came from an earlier song of Schubert, Der Wanderer (D.493). The dactylic “wanderer” theme in Adagio becomes a major focus for performers because it is the cyclic theme for the whole Fantasy. More importantly, how performers phrase this poetic melody reflect their different stylistic approaches.
Ever since 1823 when the Fantasy was published, this work was famous for its virtuosity that even Schubert himself broke down in the last movement when he was performing in front of his friends and announced, “Let the devil play the stuff!” Traditionally, the Wanderer Fantasy is considered as a virtuoso showpiece for performers and often appears in live performances. This makes the general approach to this work pretty much “straight” and modern. Performances of this piece were usually characterized by steady tempi and continuing legato, which fill into the category of mainstream modern style. Performers of this piece generally “excel in technical detail” as “strait” players. Among them, Maurizio Pollini’s recording in 1974 is a good example of modern “strait” playing.
Pollini started every part of the Fantasy



Bibliography: Brown, Maurice J. E. “Schubert 's 'Wanderer ' Fantasy.” The Musical Times 92, no. 1306 (Dec., 1951): 540-542. http://www.jstor.org Field, Christopher D.S Haynes, Bruce. "Mainstream Style (Chops, but No Soul)." The End of Early Music: A Period Performer 's History of Music for the Twenty-First Century. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 2007. Chissell, Joan. Review of Schubert, Wanderer Fantasy, Maurizio Pollini, piano. Gramophone, (January 1975): 92. http://www.gramophone.net. Schubert, Franz. Fantasy C Major “Wanderer-Fantasie” (D 760). Edited for the first time from the autograph; with fingering added by Paul Badura-Skoda. Wien: Wiener Urtext Edition, 1973. Schubert, Franz. Fantasy in C, op. 15, D. 760 (Wanderer Fantasy). Alfred Brendel, piano. Recorded November 1971. CD: Philips 420 664-2. 1989. Schubert, Franz. Fantasy in C, op. 15, D. 760 (Wanderer Fantasy). Arthur Rubinstein, piano. Recorded in 1965. CD: BMG 09026-63054-2. 1999. Schubert, Franz. Fantasy in C, op. 15, D. 760 (Wanderer Fantasy). Edwin Fischer, piano. Recorded on 22-24 May 1934. CD: ADD APR 5515. 1996. Schubert, Franz. Fantasy in C, op. 15, D. 760 (Wanderer Fantasy). Lang Lang, piano. Recorded Nov. 7, 2003. CD: Deutsche Grammophon B0002047-02. 2004. Schubert, Franz. Fantasy in C, op. 15, D. 760 (Wanderer Fantasy). Maurizio Pollini, piano. Recorded in 1974. CD: Deutsche Grammophon 419 672-2. 1988. Schubert, Franz. Fantasy in C, op. 15, D. 760 (Wanderer Fantasy). Peter Frankl, piano. Recorded 1974/75. CD: VoxBox3 CD3X 3011. 1992. Schubert, Franz. Fantasy in C, op. 15, D. 760 (Wanderer Fantasy). Vladimir Sofronitsky, piano. Live recording. Recorded December 25, 1953. CD: Pipeline Music 8975/9. Schubert, Franz [ 2 ]. Maurice J. E. Brown, “Schubert 's 'Wanderer ' Fantasy,” The Musical Times 92, no. 1306 (Dec., 1951): 541. [ 3 ]. Elaine Brody, “Mirror of His Soul: Schubert 's Fantasy in C (D. 760),” Piano Quarterly 27, no. 104 (Winter, 1979): 30. [ 4 ]. Bruce Haynes, "Mainstream Style (Chops, but No Soul)", The End of Early Music: A Period Performer 's History of Music for the Twenty-First Century (Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 2007), 48. [ 6 ]. Franz Schubert, Fantasy in C, op. 15, D. 760 (Wanderer Fantasy), Maurizio Pollini, piano, Recorded in 1974, CD: Deutsche Grammophon 419 672-2, 1988. [ 7 ]. Schubert, Fantasy C Major “Wanderer-Fantasie” (D 760), (Wien: Wiener Urtext Edition, 1973), 1. [ 8 ]. Joan Chissell, Review of Schubert, Wanderer Fantasy, Maurizio Pollini, piano. Gramophone, (January 1975): 92. http://www.gramophone.net. [ 9 ]. Franz Schubert, Fantasy in C, op. 15, D. 760 (Wanderer Fantasy), Alfred Brendel, piano, Recorded November 1971, CD: Philips 420 664-2, 1989. [ 11 ]. Franz Schubert, Fantasy in C, op. 15, D. 760 (Wanderer Fantasy), Edwin Fischer, piano, Recorded on 22-24 May 1934, CD: ADD APR 5515, 1996. [ 12 ]. Franz Schubert, Fantasy in C, op. 15, D. 760 (Wanderer Fantasy), Elly Ney, piano, Recorded 1962-1965, CD: Colosseum COL 9016.2, 2001. [ 13 ]. Franz Schubert, Fantasy in C, op. 15, D. 760 (Wanderer Fantasy), Vladimir Sofronitsky, piano, Live recording, Recorded December 25, 1953, CD: Pipeline Music 8975/9. [ 14 ]. Franz Schubert, Fantasy in C, op. 15, D. 760 (Wanderer Fantasy), Lang Lang, piano, Recorded Nov. 7, 2003, CD: Deutsche Grammophon B0002047-02, 2004.

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