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The New England Philharmonic Gives the Boston Premiere of Bernard Rands's DREAM

Dec. 17, 2021

On December 5, Adam Kerry Boyles led the New England Philharmonic in the Boston premiere of Bernard Rands's DREAM. The composer notes:

"The title DREAM is not intended to suggest a musical evocation of a specific dream. Rather, the musical form of this composition models some of the general characteristics of dreams—unpredictable and fantastic juxtapositions; exotic simultaneities; recognizable and mysterious images blended together; intense clarity; opaque chaos; moments of nightmarish intensity—all unfolding in unreal time and often linked by a single, dominating element. This landscape of the mind allows me to explore a post-Debussian formal aesthetic I have been developing over many years.

Some thirty-five years ago, to alleviate the boredom of a flight from London to Sydney, I composed an extended melody—not for any immediate composition project, just a challenging exercise! I have twice since revisited that melody—in London Serenade for Chamber Orchestra, where it has a simple melodic function, and . . . body and shadow . . . for large orchestra, where its inherent harmonies are explored. Here, in DREAM, it is the DNA of the work, i.e., every aspect of the composition—its melodic, harmonic, rhythmic, contrapuntal, timbral, textural, contour, mood, and formal proportions are all derived from the melody. It is DREAM’s dominating and unifying element. At first fragmented, the tiny modules gradually accrue until the final section of the work is totally dominated by the complete melody played by unison strings (Largamente) but still accompanied by slightly quirky, dreamlike harmonies in the winds."

(The New England Philharmonic explores the music of Bernard Rands with "Listening In: Composer Bernard Rands")

To learn more about Bernard Rands, visit:

Bernard Rands
DREAM (2019)
for orchestra
3(3.pic) xyl, tub bells, sus cym (sizzle), tri; II: tam-t, vib, crash cym; III: tam-t, vib, tub bells, tri, s.d, sus cym (sizzle); IV: b.d, mar, tri)-str