Are fantasias really arrangements?

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Eric
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Are fantasias really arrangements?

Postby Eric » Thu Aug 10, 2017 1:29 am

I wasn't aware that a fantasy on the themes from an opera was the same as an arrangement of that opera (or of a section of that opera); I was fairly sure there was a distinct difference. The latter is closer to transcription, for one thing, though not necessarily the same thing. Still, I see fantasias of operas put in "page type=arrangement" perhaps as often as hundreds of times now, so I am quite sure I am mistaken?

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Re: Are fantasias really arrangements?

Postby Carolus » Thu Aug 10, 2017 3:53 am

Only in an older sense of the term than is commonly used now. Depending on how far it departs from the incorporated material, these can range anywhere from original compositions to a simple pastiche or medley of the famous tunes. In any case, that was one of the reasons the OpDerivs template was set up - so opera pages would not be overloaded with stuff that was churned out so rapidly in some cities (Paris, for example) that publishers set up bogus names (Cramer) especially for such items. It was a way for students and young musicians to make some fast money (Brahms as G.W. Marks comes to mind). Many of Liszt's operatic fantasias really are original pieces, while others - Sousa's Mikado March being an example - is just a pastiche of the famous tunes.

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Re: Are fantasias really arrangements?

Postby Eric » Thu Aug 10, 2017 5:27 am

given that they are both in the fantasias tag and often in the OpDerivs categories should they also be in the arrangements sections? I have been following my "muse" as it were removing the "page type=arrangement" lines that these pages have been put in by one editor (or another...)

but perhaps I have been mistaken in doing so, you see, or perhaps I have been overly mechanical and not considering case by case whether some belong there more than others. Advice sought (though at 1:26 am several hours before a Thursday morning expected to be difficult, I probably won't respond so soon! :) )

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Re: Are fantasias really arrangements?

Postby Carolus » Sat Aug 12, 2017 4:12 am

Like so many things, it depends on the nature of the item. There plenty of operatic derivatives which are little more than medleys or mere highlights of the more popular tunes. These certainly qualify as arrangements - there's no originality involved apart from abridgement, simplification and maybe some transition bars between the featured melodies. No originality in picking which excerpts to include - which was probably the publisher's work in cases like the notorious "Cramer" of 19th century Paris.

Things like Sarasate's Carmen fantasy are really another thing though. Bizet's music was used as a starting point for a different piece.


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