I have always been fascinated by the genre of fantasy. Fantasies written in the same era and in the same musical style often have very little in common. Even fantasies written by the same composer can be strikingly different. For example, a fantasy by J. S. Bach could be a multi-sectional toccata-like virtuoso piece, a rhapsodic improvisatory piece, or a short piece written in a simple binary form. Classical and Romantic fantasies are even more diverse, ranging from a humorous capriccio-like Fantasy in C major by Haydn to the massive philosophical masterpieces by Schubert and Schumann.
So what is the fantasy as a genre? The only consistent feature that unifies all fantasies is the freedom that can be reflected in their different aspects. This can be a freedom of form, freedom of metric structure, or freedom of tonal plan. Generally, composing a fantasy in all times meant creating something unusual, unpredictable, unique.
For this recording I have chosen eight fantasies written by eight composers in a span of 200 years. Although all of these pieces share the same title, each of them takes us to a completely different world of each composer’s most revolutionary and most personal ideas.
— Pavel Gintov