Fanfare for Soprano and Alto Recorder (one player)
This page updated June 23, 2003 with new recordings & notes
Recorder Quartet Link fixed on February 5, 2012
FANFARE for soprano and alto recorders (one player playing both simultaneously)
Hear a complete performance in stereo streaming audio using (& requiring) QuickTime 3 or newer. (The improvisation uses QuickTime's QDesign2, so you will need QuickTime 4 or newer to hear it:)
Download the MP3 Recording
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First Update, March 21, 2001: Today it is 26 years since I composed "Fanfare." I had come to believe that the work was composed in real time, as an improvisation. I should have read more carefully what I wrote in 1976 -- that the work is " a result of an improvisation."
Recently I discovered the original cassette recording improvisation, and here's what I heard: It is a single, longish, improvisation which contains the elements of the work (and other elements). These elements form the sketch material for the work, which is composed and assembled therefrom.
And so you have it. Or soon you will. I think it will be of interest to performers to hear the works' moment of inspiration: After all, this is what I thought I was thinking about what I was hearing myself do (the premiere being more visceral). So you can hear, soon, the creation, as well as the re-creation (premiere performance, above).
I would never say that the work should be played the way I do. You may be interested in what I did, but I know you will find more interesting ways of interpreting the work.
Bob Margolis, Brooklyn, NY, 03 21 01
New Update, June 23, 2003 (well I sure took my time). The original 1975 tape-recorded improvisation is now online.
Today we've all become used to DVD's of movies containing endless behind-the-scenes information. What the director had for breakfast, the initial storyboards, deleted scenes, production photos, alternative endings, multiple commentary tracks.
But for music? Well, why not have a little extra behind-the-scenes dope. The real scoop.
In the 1976 composer's notes to Fanfare I state that the work was the result of a tape-recorded improvisation -- a work in real time.
A good part of the music is indeed a note-for-note transcription of the improvisation. But when you listen to the actual 8-minute improvisation, you realize that the work is an edit and re-arrangement (and a little re-composition) of the improvisation.
The improvisation you hear (for the first time today, which is June 23, 2003) is unedited and complete. It's everything that the music is based on, from the opening "d" (why?) to the point where I stopped playing that day in 1975. (Sorry, only one microphone -- too lazy to plug in two?)
I particularly like the end, where I discover the bit with the octave glissandos. It's like: "Wow. That's nice. OK, what else can I do with this. That's not right. That's not it. Oh yeah -- that's it. Yes, do that again. Yes, I'm sure, that's it." You can almost hear the mind (after it gets itself unstuck for a really long repetition) editing itself and finally inventing just the right phrase and then repeating it for confirmation.
What surprises me today is that I begin more or less just playing the piece, as if it were sitting there waiting to be played. It just seems to be there and I can't tell you where it came from (did it suggest itself from one moment to the next?).
So for better or worse, for less or for more, behold the original -- before any score.
Bob Margolis Brooklyn, New York, June 23rd, 2003
Copyright © 1999 - 2003 Manhattan Beach Music. All Rights Reserved.
Original improvisation of 1975 is published and Copyright © 2003 by Bob Margolis.
(Performances by Bob Margolis.)
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