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Hyperion Records

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Track(s) taken from CDA66676
Recording details: June 1993
Turku (Abo) Cathedral, Finland
Produced by Paul Spicer
Engineered by Paul Niederberger
Release date: February 1994
Total duration: 10 minutes 11 seconds

'An organ, the mere sound of which can send shivers down the spine … breathtaking … another splendid disc as thrilling and truly spectacular as they, or anyone else for that matter, have so far produced' (Gramophone)

Fantasia in F minor, K608
composer
1791 Vienna

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
This is a wonderfully intricate piece of music, written for an amazingly complex piece of machinery. Until the beginnings of the industrial revolution the most complicated machine devised by man was the organ, closely followed by clock-type mechanisms. In Mozart’s time one Count Joseph Deym was an enthusiast for ‘mechanical clocks’, clockwork devices which caused pipe organs to play. He set up an exhibition presenting tableaux after the manner of waxworks displays, which made use of these instruments from among his collection of automata.

Mozart’s F minor piece for Deym did not gain the title ‘Fantasia’ until it was arranged for piano duet during the last century. However, it is a totally appropriate name for a piece which is even more fantastic than the machine for which it was created. It begins, rather as Handel’s Messiah opens, with a serious overture in French style, then there is an Andante worthy of the finest string quartet before the serious overture returns. Both parts of the overture explore the device of fugue—a reminder that Mozart had studied the music of Bach. Mozart’s technique and invention in this medium rival the mathematical precision which created the interlocking gears of the mechanism for which the Fantasia was written.

from notes by Ian Carson © 1994

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