Three Kings Fantasy, Op. 5b

for Orchestra (3.3.3.3, 4.3.3.1, T+3, Strings)

Opus 5b, 2021

Duration: 4.5m

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Three Kings Fantasy is the last of the Christmas-inspired works I wrote as a young composer/arranger in the early 2000s for brass band. This revision and adaptation for orchestra came later, in 2021, after finishing my long-delayed Master's in Composition.

I was attracted to Christmas melodies precisely because of their familiarity (and also, I must admit, because of the nostalgia). I enjoy playing with expectations. We've all heard hundreds, maybe thousands, of different Christmas arrangements that all use the same predictable structure and harmonic progressions. I deliberately avoided those predictable expectations, particularly in this piece, as well as in Isabella Rhapsody and Variations on Noël Nouvelët... and to a lesser extent in Carol of the Bells and Greensleeves, though they have their own unique elements.

I had no form in mind as I wrote this piece. I merely allowed the music to drift along and carry it where I felt it wanted to go, using fragments of the melody as my raw materials for composition, along with an ostinato that periodically returns throughout the work. However, as often happens, a form emerged anyway, roughly analogous to the original strophic form of the song, but defying expectations all along the way.