Fantasy Brings the Day

Fantasy Brings the Day for harpsichord
Dan Locklair
(b. 1949)

Program Note

Fantasy Brings the Day is my second major harpsichord work and, like the first one (i.e. The Breakers Pound), was written for and dedicated to Barbara Harbach. Composed in Winston-Salem and Brevard, North Carolina over a period that spanned Spring to Autumn 1989, this approximately 13-minute fantasy is in four sections. Sections I and IV are equal in length (ca. 2’ 30”) and Sections II (ca. 3’ 30”) and III (ca. 4’ 30”) expand by a minute the length of each previous section. Played without pause, each section is linked by the “motto chord” that permeates and expands throughout the entire work: D-A-D G©-D-G© with the top G© resolving to F©.

Section I opens with the initial statement of the “motto chord,” after which rapid, dialoguing scales follow (punctuated by scale-tone clusters) that expose the primary scale that is the building block of the whole work: D, E, F©, G©, A, B, C, D.

Section II is a lyrical and liquid dialogue between the two 8-foot stops of the harpsichord and projects a gentle dance-like quality.

Section III, marked “Wistful and improvisatory,” continues the watery after-affect quality of Section II, but in a more rhythmically free and lyrical manner. Section III, based on both F© and E transpositions of the initial scale, dialogues the colors of the harpsichord’s 8-foot stop and the second manual’s buff stop with serene and metrically measured statements interrupting the improvisatory character on three occasions.

Section IV, recalling the fully registered and coupled harpsichord sound of Section I, uses the opening scale of the piece as its basis, but transposeds it to the highest level of the composition : Ab. A highly rhythmical section, Section IV recalls the scaler, dialoguing and cluster characteristics of Section I. A climactic resolution of the “motto chord” brings the work to a resounding close.

Dan Locklair
Autumn 1989
Winston-Salem, North Carolina