• Elliott Carter
  • Night Fantasies (1980)

  • Associated Music Publishers Inc (World)
  • pf
  • 24 min

Programme Note

Night Fantasies is a piano piece of continuously changing moods, suggesting the fleeting thoughts and feelings that pass through the mind during a period of wakefulness at night. The quiet, nocturnal evocation with which it begins and to which it returns occasionally, is suddenly broken by a flighty series of short phrases that emerge and disappear. This episode is followed by many others of contrasting characters and lengths that sometimes break in abruptly and at other, develop smoothly out of what has gone before. The work culminates in a loud periodic repetition of an emphatic chord that, as it dies away, brings the work to its conclusion.

In this score, I wanted to capture the fanciful, changeable quality of our inner life at a time when it is not dominated by strong, directive intentions or desires – to capture the poetic moodiness that, in an earlier romantic context, we employ in the works of Robert Schumann like Kreisleriana, Carnaval, and Davids-bundlertanze.

--Elliott Carter