Tempest Fantasy is a musical meditation on characters, moods, situations, and lines of text from my favorite Shakespeare play, The Tempest. Rather than depicting these elements in literally programmatic terms, I’ve used them instead as points of departure for flights of purely musical fancy. The first three movements spring from the nature and selected speeches of the three characters after whom they’re named. The fourth movement was inspired by Caliban’s uncharacteristically elegant third-act speech: “Be not afeard: the isle is full of noises, Sounds and sweet airs, that give delight, and hurt not.” The finale, the most “fantastic” flight of all, elaborates on the various musical elements of the earlier movements and draws them together into a convivial finale.
It’s dedicated with great admiration and affection to the clarinetist David Krakauer and the members of Trio Solisti, Maria Bachmann, Alexis Pia Gerlach, and Jon Klibonoff, who gave its premiere at New York City’s Morgan Library in 2003.
Tempest Fantasy was awarded the 2004 Pulitzer Prize for Music.
“This is indeed a well-wrought creation, heavily influenced by Gershwin in its jazz-leaning harmonies and its plain-spoken lyricism but with a voice of its own. Geoffrey Burleson thrived on a piano part that becomes at times almost concertolike.”
Alias followed with a performance of Bouldin’s “Agora,” set to Moravec’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Tempest Fantasy. I can see why this won the Pulitzer. The music is straightforward, neo-romantic, with some ingenious pairings of sub-tone clarinet with strings.
"Moravec’s score has been widely performed and for good reason. Both musically complex and enticing to the ear, the Tempest Fantasy is an outstanding 21st-century addition to the chamber music literature."
"This is indeed a well-wrought creation, heavily influenced by Gershwin in its jazz-leaning harmonies and its plain-spoken lyricism but with a voice of its own."