Beate Leibe (b. 1954) — Fantasy in D minor (Fantasie d-moll) (2014) for organ
“Fantasy in D minor (Fantasie d-moll)” (2014) was premiered by the composer on her final Sunday of church work before retirement. While the work can be heard as a free fantasia, for the composer the inspiration came from her situation at the time. After finally being able to pursue a musical career after decades of work in other areas, she found herself after a period of a few years needing to retire due to health issues and a declining work environment. In the center of the piece is a original chorale melody that the composer had set to a text she had written that speaks of a total surrender to God and his will even in spite of difficult or dark time (“Father, I want to love as much as you love.”).
The fantasy begins with a brief introduction followed by a section with a ticking “clockwork”-like character. This represents the onward flow of time: the “daily grind.” The individual reflects: “What is this all for? Is there any meaning to this race in a sensless world?” The response to this self-reflection is one of near anger. Then comes the chorale and an attempt at the total surrender to God’s will. The previous material now returns as the individual is thrown back into the world again, viewed this time with a bit of ironic detachment. Finally, there is a last invocation again of the chorale, a final quiet ticking of the clock, and the music disappears. Overall the piece is an evocation and reflection on struggle and feelings that are common to nearly all humans as we ask “What is our place in this world?” The composer’s personal thoughts are best expressed by the writer of Ecclesiastes: “For everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose.”