American Fancy for 4 hands or two pianos

American Fancy
for 4 hands or two pianos (2000)
American Composers Alliance, 7 minutes

American Fancy (2000) is a haunting, one-movement piece for two pianos based on patriotic tunes, among which is the U.S. national anthem. Sometimes the tunes are hidden, sometimes they are combined imitatively or polytonally, and sometimes they appear with a new harmonization. The piece reveals ongoing concerns about the course we are charting in the U.S. at this time, but also betrays typical American optimism for the future. The title word “fancy” is used in the sense of English 16th and 17th century keyboard and instrumental fantasias, described by Morley as follows: “The most principal and chiefest kind of music is the Fancy, that is when a musician taketh a point at his pleasure and wresteth and turneth it as he lists…”

The piece was premiered at the Sixth Festival of Women Composers at Indiana University in Pennsylvania and at Regis College performed by pianist Wanda Paik and the composer.