The Darker Side of Mechanical Perfection
Mozart's Fantasia K 594 is an extraordinary late masterpiece conceived in the half solemn, half playful, slightly archaic quasi-Baroque idiom that Mozart was so fond of in his late work, particularly in The Magic Flute. The original piece was composed for mechanical organ, and was intended to accompany a revolving waxworks in a mausoleum. In The Darker Side of Mechanical Perfection I pay homage to Mozart's genius and Mozart's irreverence by recomposing his wonderful Fantasia in a playful and irreverent way. All sorts of metrical games are imposed on the original score with extra counterpoints and orchestral cascades of various sorts. There is also, throughout the piece, a sense that the mechanism, marvellous though it is, could at any moment be derailed. The Darker Side of Mechanical Perfection was commissioned by the University of Kent and first performed in Canterbury Cathedral in 2005.