Fantasy for piano and orchestra (1890)
I. Andante ma non troppo — Allegro giusto
Budapest Festival Orch.
Debussy’s Fantasy — a three-movement piano concerto or concertino in all but name — was an early work which the composer completed, scheduled for premiere, and then summarily withdrew after a dispute with d’Indy, who had been scheduled to conduct. It was not performed until 1918 (by Cortot) and has been scarcely revived since then.
This is not mature Debussy: the piano figuration perhaps approaches brainless bravura at times, and the work reads much like a Franck-inspired pièce de concours. But it certainly has its merits, probably deserves to be heard more often, and offers interesting insight into the tradition of which its composer was inextricably a part.