Samuel Headrick


Polyphonic Fantasy

This is a live recording of a performance by Dinosaur Annex Music Ensemble, Scott Wheeler, Music Director and Conductor.         

Polyphonic Fantasy (8:56)   YouTube version

Polyphonic Fantasy was written to showcase the skills of five virtuoso performers and was intentionally crafted to be appreciated at multiple levels. While the language is accessible, the compositional technique and overall architecture is rigorous and strict.  For example, there are six simple, easily remembered melodies, but these melodies and their inversions occur repeatedly throughout the piece in various contrapuntal combinations. These combinations begin simply (one stretto at the fifth after one measure) and continue to evolve throughout the work (e.g., several instances of 3 to 5 melodies presented simultaneously, some in inversion and some as originally heard), so that the whole piece is written in increasingly complex and strict counterpoint with transitional material all being derived from the principal ideas and themes.

Hall, Gregory. “Music Review.” Contemporary Record Society News: Contemporary Music On-Line Magazine. 2008.


”Brimming intelligence….beautiful…..a uniquely twentieth/twenty-first century interpretation of tension/resolution…. never is the musical sacrificed to the merely virtuosic. This is an ensemble piece in the best sense of the word….Wonderful idiomatic writing abounds, from gorgeous pastoral work for the winds, brash and wonderful harmonic and rhythmic writing for the piano, and long sustained melodies in the strings…This is bound to be an audience-pleaser and a fabulous encore, in addition to concert staple.  It is an intellectual yet visceral work….very much its own piece.”

Mitsuishi, Junji. “Online Review.” Sibelius Music.