Servais - Fantaisie La Romantique (Urtext Edition, Piano Version)
Fantaisie La Romantique is one of Servais’s earliest successes as a composer. The first known performance of the work occurred on 6 December 1834; it was one of his major concert pieces he programmed for almost a decade. Fantaisie La Romantique exists in versions for cello with piano accompaniment and with string quintet accompaniment. It also
Fantaisie La Romantique is one of Servais’s earliest successes as a composer. The first known performance of the work occurred on 6 December 1834; it was one of his major concert pieces he programmed for almost a decade. Fantaisie La Romantique exists in versions for cello with piano accompaniment and with string quintet accompaniment. It also likely existed in a version with orchestra as the phrase “grand orchestre” is found in the first violin part. The autograph cello solo part is signed “Jan Poumbak,” Servais’s whimsical pseudonym.
Unlike many of Servais’s works that were based on a single theme or a set of themes from a unified work, Fantaisie La Romantique may be classified as a potpourri. In the early 1800s, potpourris contained popular, often unrelated, melodies. Other potpourris for cello and orchestra include Carl Maria von Weber’s Op. 20 and Johann Nepomuk Hummel’s Op. 95.
The original version of Fantaisie La Romantique began with a dramatic, 31-bar opening. The first 15 bars of this opening were transposed and reused in the published version of O cara memoria, Op. 17 (1860). Mm. 15-30 of the opening are a fugato on the coming cello theme. In the quintet version, mm. 3-30 were pasted over with a newspaper and m. 4 was rewritten to resemble m. 14 only in the tonic key. The piano introduction was rewritten to include only four bars. The cello part does not contain the tutti section in any form.
The first cello melody is based on Ferdinand Fürchtegott Huber’s “Ach! wie churze-n-üsi Tage!” found in Sammlung von Schweizer-Kühreihen und Volksliedern. Servais also used this melody in his Morceau de Salon No. 3, Op. posth.
The next section is a theme and a set of five variations. The theme and first two variations were included in the published version of Souvenir de Bade, Op. 20 (1863). The rest of the variations are not numbered. The third variation has a gypsy flair, accompanied almost exclusively by tremolo. The fourth variation does not seem to be related to the theme. It was published as the third variation in O cara memoria, Op. 17. The final variation is a polonaise. Near the end of the work, Servais quotes Sehnsuchtswalzer by Schubert.
Our edition is based on the autograph cello solo part and piano part in the hand of Ulysse Claes (MS 45.106 (1)). The piano part is a partial score. We have also consulted the string quintet version in the hand of Ulysse Claes (MS 45.107). All sources are housed at the Brussels Conservatory Library.