Jean-Pierre Bartoli/Jeanne Roudet

Analyse d’un genre négligé et réévaluation des modèles en cours: l’exemple de la fantaisie pour clavier/
Analysis of a Neglected Genre and Revaluation of Current Models: The Example of Keyboard Fantasies

A thorough analysis of a neglected genre by theoretical tradition may lead to a revaluation of current models. The ‘free fantasy’ repertoire for keyboard from the 18th and 19th centuries is most exemplary. Our book, The Rise of Romanticism: The Fantasy for Keyboard from C.P.E. Bach to F. Liszt (L’Essor du romantisme: la fantaisie pour clavier de Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach à Franz Liszt) (Paris, 2013), invites to reconsider the role of this genre in the musical production during this time. With the exception of certain works carefully selected (Mozart’s Fantasie K. 475, Chopin’s Op. 49 for instance), the major theorists have deliberately or not chosen not to take their models in this set of works despite its coherence, or not to draw examples to present or to defend their theories. The exclusion of these works, despite the great impact in their time (like Hummel’s Fantasy Op. 18, or those of C.P.E. Bach), is very meaningful. The history of fantasy calls into question the ‘discourse’ about classical style – monument erected to the glory of the Viennese School, reinforced at the beginning of the 20th century, taken up by Charles Rosen during the full development of the structuralism thought, while focusing on sonata form dialectic and other genres deriving from it. Likewise the study of the fantasy threatens the very foundations of the romantic generation expression used to refer to the most prominent composers born in the 1810s.
The analysis of fantasies, either harmonic or formal, not only allows questioning the chronological segmentation currently used to represent the music history at the turn of the 18th to the 19th centuries, but also invites to a new way of analysing. So rhetorical analysis (using the general semiotics tools), topical analysis and paradigmatic analysis can combine forces to give a full account of these works’ plots.