Iain Farrington

Pianist, organist, composer, arranger

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Fantasia in F minor, K608

for Chamber Ensemble

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart composed his Fantasia in F minor in 1790-1791 as one of three pieces for a mechanical clock, a type of machine attached to a small pipe organ that could play automatically. Its commission was probably from Count Joseph Deym, an enthusiast for mechanical clocks, and owner of a waxworks gallery in Vienna. He wanted music to accompany an exhibition featuring a mausoleum in memory of Field Marshal Baron von Laudon. Mozart was supposedly disappointed by the high-pitched sound of the clocks, preferring the grander sound of the large-scale church organ. Despite being supposedly bored by the commission, the F minor Fantasia is one of Mozart's final masterpieces. It is a multi-sectional one movement work that combines the disparate elements of French Overture, Bach fugal counterpoint, and Classical theme and variations. The mood is serious and anguished in the outer sections, contrasting with the serenity of the central variations. Early versions of the piece exist for organ and for piano duet, and the piece has been effectively adapted for many different instrumental combinations. This arrangement translates the original score into a chamber instrumental work, exploiting the full variety of the ensemble and evoking the grandeur and richness of the organ.

Instrumentation: flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, horn, violin 1, violin 2, viola, cello, piano (10 players)

Listen to a performance of the arrangement here

Available to purchase from Aria Editions here