Dream Fantasies

Composed in: 1999
Instrumentation: Flute, Oboe, Viola, Piano
Commissioned by: Jack & Florence Irving
for Pacific Serenades
Premiered by: Mark Carlson, flute
Allan Vogel, oboe
Roland Kato, viola
Joann Pearce Martin, piano
Publisher: Pacific Serenades

Program Notes

Dream Fantasies is a set of five short pieces, each having somehow to do with dreams or with the night.  The title of From Night’s Outer Wing is a phrase from a beautiful sonnet by E. E. Cummings called This is the garden, which I set for baritone and piano in 1987.  It’s minimalistic accompaniment and fragmented melodies suggest the unearthliness of a dream landscape. The second movement, Inward Eye, has the feeling of deep introspection we sometimes experience in waking dreams.  To waken an old lady is an arrangement of a song of mine for voice, flute, and piano on a poem of the same name by William Carlos Williams. In it the poet likens old age to “a flock of small, cheeping birds,” acknowledging its fullness of life with a “shrill piping of plenty.”  Night visitors alternates a soothing lullaby with music of dark and dissonant turbulence. This Free-falling is of the pleasurable variety: a jaunty jazz-like dance alternates with a waltz, both of which “fall” freely through a variety of keys. The waltz finally drifts off, as if into a pleasant sleep.