Un Reve Fantastique for Wind Ensemble (1997)
(Contrabass clarinet and celeste optional)
Un Reve Fantastique was inspired by the composer’s experience as a freelance cellist in the Motion Picture and Television industries in Los Angeles during the 1980’s. This work is a short tone poem with visual and cinematic overtones.
The composer envisioned the following brief storyline while composing the music: at the close of a long busy day, our protagonist lies down exhausted and begins to fall asleep. This is represented musically by a slow brass chorale. The flutes, piccolo, piano, harp, glockenspiel, and triangle are next heard as this person drifts into sleep and begins a dream that is slightly unpleasant and disturbing. This dream becomes a nightmare and awakens the dreamer. The brass chorale returns to mark this, and as the protagonist falls back to sleep. The dream state returns once more, but this time as a happy and pleasant one that becomes a thrilling adventure. The protagonist emerges victorious, but is then haunted by echoes of the nightmare, once more awakening, to the dawn.
The composer invites the audience to create their own versions of the details in the nightmare and triumphant dreams, as the music might suggest to them.
“Un Reve Fantastique” was commissioned by, and dedicated to, Colin R. Clarke and the Toronto Youth Wind Orchestra.