Fantasia on a Webern Row (2016)

for orchestral double winds, brass, and percussion (14′)


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“Most impressive of all was Davison’s new work. It is an absorbing, multi-textured piece, with a clearly defined and satisfying sense of structure and line.”

The Mercury, 17/02/2017

“I compose with three scores sitting on my desk. Each is by a composer I admire, and I compose with three scores sitting on my desk. Each is by a composer I admire, and having them there motivates me. One of the scores is by Anton Webern, an Austrian whose music from the early 20th century influenced a generation of composers. Fantasia on a Webern Row (2016) is a fifteen-minute work for triple winds, brass, and percussion. In this work, I draw on the tone row from Webern’s Symphony op. 21, using it as a thread with which to weave my own music.

The opening minutes of Fantasia are spare and stripped back. Often only a single instrument plays. Richer sonorities soon emerge, but these function less as ‘chords’ and more as ‘sound masses’ in which instrumental timbres swim in and out of focus like colours on the surface of a deep and gently undulating lake. This swelling effect is even more pronounced at the climax of the work where tutti sonorities come in vast waves, surging and receding and surging again. In the closing moments of the work, only specks of sound remain.

Fantasia premiered on 17 February 2017 with Simon Reade conducting the Hobart Wind Symphony at the Tasmanian Conservatorium of Music.”


Interested in performing this work? Please get in touch.