Ropartz (1864-1955) was a pupil of Franck at the Paris' Conservatoire and was deeply influenced by his teacher.
The Fantaisie is from a bunch of six pieces published in 1901, whose the Prélude funèbre is the only piece regularly played today. The Fantaisie is a piece I love deeply because, IMHO, it sings from beginning to end.
It's (IMHO again) a kind of young cousin of Franck's Fantaisie en la with which it shares several characteristics :
- the title ;
- the length : 13-14' ;
- the tone of a, sometimes major, sometimes minor ;
- the multi sectionnal structure ;
- the wealth of themes and motives, their length and their lyrical , singing, and sometimes "sinuous" character ;
- the use, here and there, of pianistic writing at the LH as accompaniment of a lyrical theme at the RH ;
- a huge and brief climax deported towards the end of the piece and followed by a soft conclusion ;
- an absence of torment for concision (if I dare...)
- and, above all, a most typical franckian flavor.
The score indicates neither registrations nor keyboards, just things as piano, forte,ff, etc. So I did as I felt, while keeping an eye on Franck's organ music.
If you want, you can also find Ropartz's Prelude funebre here
and, by our Agnus Dei, Franck's Fantaisie en la here