'The Volga Fantasy' was composed for George Vance and his Mini-Bass Project. Completed on 23 February 2000 'The Volga Fantasy' is based on 'Song of the Volga Boatmen', a traditional Russian song which was collected by Mily Balakirev and first published in 1868. The song has been the inspiration for many composers including Alexander Glazunov and Manuel de Falla alongside inclusion in many films and cartoons throughout the 20th-century.
'The Volga Fantasy' begins slowly and simply, in three parts, before gradually extending to nine parts, and the song melody is embellished with rolling harmonic figures which add energy and momentum. The upper parts use the higher harmonic register, the lower parts play harmonics in 3rd and 4th positions, and the theme is ever present, in different registers, creating a unique work which is suitable for all ability levels.
Teppo Hauta-aho is a past master at writing music which is colourful, exploring textures and timbres, and introduces a number of contemporary playing techniques before the music gradually dissolves into silence.