Fantasy in French is a musical collage comprised of several well-known works by French composers. The first task in a project of this nature is to choose which pieces you are going to use. Sometimes you choose pieces for their contrast to each other and how, together, they will provide good variety, flow and drive. In this case, I chose pieces that technically and emotionally were similar. My ultimate goal was to take the five works listed below, mix them all together, and present a piece that sounds like it was co-written by Saint-SaŽns, Satie and Debussy.
Fantasy in French begins immediately with such a combination, presenting Debussyís "Syrinx" melody right on top of the chord progression from Erik Satieís "Gymnopedie No. 1," then slowly it melts into the original opening phrases of Debussyís "Clair de Lune." In measure 28 we get a strong presentation of the "Gymnopedie" chord progression and the melody which serves as a counter melody to Debussyís "Clair de Lune." Measure 37 finds the listener being tossed back and forth from "Clair de Lune" to Saint-SaŽnsí Organ Symphony and in measure 51, "Clair de Lune" gets replaced with Saint-SaŽnsí "Aquarium." The piece ends with "Clair de Lune" all by itself, because, as one of the most beautiful pieces ever written, I owed it at least that much.
Camille Saint-SaŽns - Carnival of the Animals, VII. Aquarium
Camille Saint-SaŽns - Symphony No. 3 in C minor, op. 78, ďOrgan SymphonyĒ
Erik Satie - Gymnopedie No. 1
Claude Debussy - Suite Bergamasque for Piano, L.75, III. Clair de Lune