Fantasia for Orchestra was written in July and August of 2020 during, and made possible by, the COVID-19 global pandemic. Normally, my schedule is completely filled with conducting engagements throughout the United States and abroad. However, in March of 2020, virtually the entire world went into lockdown in an effort to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Thousands of concerts were canceled and for many months, those of us who were accustomed to performing night after night found ourselves with some extra time on our hands. I decided to use some of this extra time to re-orchestrate my Fantasia for Solo Violin for full orchestra. The original solo violin version was written in 1993 while I was a doctoral student at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, Massachusetts. It is published by LudwigMasters Publications and is contained on the Centaur Records release Lawrence Golan: Fantasia and the Ablaze Records album Millennial Masters, Vol. 9.
The emotional trajectory of the piece is as follows. We begin with fear and uncertainty, and for the first half of the piece the mood is dark and depressing. Midway through, the music becomes stodgy and repetitive, giving one the impression that the drudgery will never end. However, a heroic modulation from D Minor to D Major brings hope and ushers in a glorious fanfare in the brass. All doom and gloom is wiped away and the piece concludes triumphantly. Coincidental as it may be, this emotional trajectory certainly mirrors that which we all experienced during the many months of living through the deadliest pandemic in a century.
— Lawrence Golan
Original Solo Violin Part. The original solo violin part, upon which this piece is based, is included at the bottom of the score for reference only. It is not to be played when performing Fantasia for Orchestra.
Keyboard. The Keyboard part may be played by one player. Either a Digital Piano with samples for celesta and pipe organ may be used OR a real celesta and a real pipe organ may be used. The discretion of the conductor, player and/or orchestra administration should be used to determine which is best for any given performance. In any case, the Keyboard part is written at concert pitch. The notes should sound in the printed octave.
Flutes and Piccolo. In measures 86 and 87, the 32nd-notes that are not marked with a slur should be tongued. In measure 89, the players should finger the printed chromatic scale while flutter-tonguing.
String Bowings. The score and string parts have been completely bowed by the composer (a violinist). There is no need to go through the typical process of having the parts bowed by the string principals.
piccolo, 2 flutes (2nd doubles on alto flute), 2 oboes, 2 clarinets, 2 bassoons, 4 horns, 2 trumpets, 2 trombones, bass trombone, tuba, timpani, percussion (3 players: vibraphone, tam-tam, crash cymbals, suspended cymbal, snare drum, bass drum), harp, keyboard/synth (celesta and pipe organ), strings