Greg Steinke, Composer
Dr. Greg A Steinke is retired, former Joseph Naumes Endowed Chair of Music/Art and Associate Dean of Undergraduate Studies, Marylhurst University, Marylhurst, Oregon; Associate Director, Ernest Bloch Music Festival (‘93–97) and Director, Composers Symposium (‘90–97) (Newport, OR); served as the National Chairman of the Society of Composers, Inc. (1988–97). Composer of chamber and symphonic music and author with published/recorded works and performances across the U. S. and internationally; speaker on interdisciplinary arts, and oboist specializing in contemporary music. Dr. Steinke is the current national president of NACUSA and also serves on the local NACUSA Cascadia Chapter Board.
For more information please visit Greg's website: http://www.gregasteinke.com
About Toccata Fantasy I
The Toccata Fantasy I is the composer’s “contemporary take” on the very old toccata style as a homage to Béla Bartók with Bach and Beethoven looking over Bartók’s shoulder, all the while musing occasionally on Bartók’s compositional accomplishments. Bartók has always been a musical “hero” of mine since my very early years as a composer. When this opportunity to write a piece reflecting the influence and/or style of a particular composer came along, I realized the perfect vehicle had appeared for me to honor my musical hero. While the toccata spins itself out in the course of the piece, a “fantasy” lurks in the background that has elements of Bach and Beethoven—that were influences on Bartok as well—along with some quoted favorite passages from Bartok—2nd Piano Concerto, Concerto for Orchestra. Aspects of the toccata motives (phrases) are anagram derivatives of Bartok’s full name realized as degrees of a scale starting on B-flat. The piece ends with a reaffirmation of B (B-flat), É (E), L (La or 6th scale degree), A (A).
Also, special performance techniques are indicated in the score in several places. Several “free” sections that involve a kind of “structured improvisation” have specific instructions where they occur; the musical events specified are performed within the durational, timbral and dynamic parameters indicated but also allow for artistic license and interpretational freedom for the performer, which the composer is very willing to accept. So, this may result in different readings in various performances, perhaps different readings by the same performer in subsequent performances. Otherwise I leave it to the listener to derive whatever musical meanings come to them while experiencing the piece.