Genii: Scenes from a Ballet
By Frederick Frahm. Circa 10″ in duration. A programmatic for organ based on a tale from the 1001 Arabian Nights. Scheduled for world premiere in Thaxted on the Lincoln Organ. The following narrative is included in the score for program notes:
Morning dawns on the old fisherman. Weary, he gathers his nets, and with some effort boards his boat and oars it out to sea. The water is lonely, the fisherman waits. On the first draw, no fish… the second and third draws are the same. He is frustrated for he knows he will surely starve. On the last draw, the net is filled with mostly rubbish as before, but this time there is also a small yellow copper pot atop the debris. The fisherman considers his luck and further ponders the vessel on the shore. When the lid drops off, a large, powerful, and profoundly agitated Genie is released through a cloud of smoke. Apprehensive at first, the Genie discerns that his liberator is not his mighty captor. In anger and self-justification, he commands the life of the fisherman in retribution for centuries of suffering. In fear, the fisherman accepts his fate, but also discerns the bravado and bluster of the Genie. He poses a question to the creature in which he feigns incredulity that such a large and spectacular being could occupy a small copper pot. The Genie, not to be questioned, rashly endeavors to prove his power by returning to the confines of the pot at which point the fisherman claps on the lid. The genie is filled with rage, but eventually concedes the fisherman’s advantage. Gifts are offered. Trust is beggared. Bargains are made. The Genie is released to honor his word to the fisherman. And now there are more fish.
Hear the world premiere performance at the Thaxted Music Festival in 2018