- Orchestral/Large Orchestra
'Taking up a challenge similar to that of the scherzo in the Cello Concerto, the Prelude to a Fantasy was originally a movement of my Second Symphony (1980), and was inspired by tales of the mythological Naiades: water nymphs, inhabitants of rivers, lakes, streams, mountain springs and fountains, the guardians of all sources of fresh water. (So believed the Greeks – and why not?) This image gave me reason to create a piece that kept its pulse going, avoiding any temptation to reduce speed or relax into leisurely reflection. For Naiades were immortal beings, minor deities, ever dancing and restless like children: they attended assemblies on Mount Olympus, and were the divine protectors of a city's water supply; but they also guarded young girls and watched over their safe passage into adulthood, as Apollo and the river-gods did for boys and youths. Although I have not always attributed such sources in my titles, the vivid world of mythological imagery has long held for me a fascination which I find continually stimulates my musical ideas.'
The Naiades of Greek mythology (Ναϊάδες ) were water nymphs, guardians of all sources of fresh water, inhabiting rivers, lakes, streams, mountain springs and fountains. They were immortal beings, minor deities, who attended the assemblies on Mount Olympus, and were the divine protectors of a city’s water supply; but they also guarded young girls, watching over their safe passage into adulthood, as Apollo and the river-gods did for boys and youths.
“…at once the air was bright
with water nymphs that danced and flew
twixt pool and starts
and chased the casts of evening light
among the boughs of darkened
yet in a moment they were gone,
melted by the silence of a faerie mist.”