SCHUBERT - STARR; Fantasy in C Major, D. 934; for violin solo and orchestra (an orchestration by Mark Starr of Schubert’s work for violin and piano) Part 1 of 3

Franz Schubert
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page one of SCHUBERT - STARR; Fantasy in C Major, D. 934; for violin solo and orchestra (an orchestration by Mark Starr of Schubert’s work for violin and piano) Part 1 of 3

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To the eternal regret of violinists, Franz Schubert never composed a violin concerto. This orchestral arrangement of Schubert’s Fantasy in C Major (originally composed for violin and piano, D. 934) is my attempt to fill that glaring gap in the concert repertoire, thus making this extraordinary work available to concert violinists who appear as soloist with orchestras. While not a concerto, the Fantasy in C major is a large-scale virtuoso work in seven continuous sections that correspond roughly to three connected movements. Without repeats, the work lasts 22 minutes. With the optional repeats, the duration is roughly 27 minutes.

Composed in 1828 during Schubert’s last few months of life (as his health deteriorated from the severe case of syphillis that would soon kill him,) the Fantasy is not only Schubert’s greatest work for the violin – it is also one of his supreme instrumental masterpieces. It is my contention that Schubert conceived the Fantasy in C major as a work for violin solo and orchestra; but his deteriorating health forced him to set the music down on paper for violin and piano. In 1828, faced with the looming prospect of impending doom from syphillis, Schubert was obsessively determined to leave for posterity at least some of the wealth of music that was still within him, in the limited time that he had left. The result was perhaps the greatest burst creative energy in musical history. In less than one year, Schubert produced a steady stream of masterpieces in many genres - up until the final sketches for his tenth symphony.

The Fantasy for violin and piano was never performed in Schubert’s lifetime, and it was published posthumously. The piano part is symphonic in texture and full of orchestral effects - beginning with the breath-taking, almost inaudible tremolo that opens the work.

In addition to this arrangement for violin solo and orchestra, I have also made an alternate arrangement for flute solo and string orchestra.

Besides the full score of the Fantasy for violin solo and orchestra, a separate part for violin solo is also available for purchase and downloading on I have left Schubert’s solo violin part in tact. However, I have made many editorial modifications – principally in the form of changes in dynamics, to make the solo part clearly audible against the orchestral texture. I have also added fragments of the part for the first violins into the pauses in the violin solo part, thus enabling the solo violinist to join the orchestra for tutti sections. This practice not only enhances the sonority of the first violins, it also allows a soloist to optionally conduct the work from the violin. The solo and tutti sections are clearly marked. Lastly, the solo violin part contains new rehearsal letters, which are indispensible for rehearsals with orchestra. I have not added any violin fingerings.

I call the attention of all browsers to the attached MP3 file. This demo recording was created with enhanced digital strings sounds and natural reverberation. It sounds much more realistic than the tinny Basic MIDI Sounds that one hears with the score display in Scorch. I recommend listening to the MP3 demo in addition to – or instead of – listening to the Basic MIDI Sounds in Scorch.

I hope browsers of this score (and listeners to the demo performances) will express their opinions of Schubert’s Fantasy in C Major, D. 934, and my orchestral arrangement of it - either in an online review or in an email to me. I am always interested in reading the observations of those who examine and listen to my compositions and orchestrations. To send me an email, just click on the button marked EMAIL THE PUBLISHER.

Part I (of 3) lasts almost 9 minutes.

M. S.

Score ID
Franz Schubert
Year of composition
Difficult (Grades 7+)
9 minutes
Orchestra + solo Solo Violin
Classical music
Instrumental parts

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