Dreamworlds

By Lewis Spratlan | For Piano, Four-Hands | 15′

Title: Dreamworlds
Composer: Lewis Spratlan
Year Composed: 2015
Instrumentation: For Piano, Four-Hands
Duration: 15′
Format: 2x Score
Page Size: Letter
Catalog Number: OM0428


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From the composer:

  1. Dreams of a Saint  St. Francis of Assisi
  2. Dreams of a Madman Hitler
  3. Dreams of a Bureaucrat a bureaucrat

DREAMWORLDS probes the dreams of three very unlike figures: St. Francis of Assisi, Hitler, and a nameless bureaucrat. Each movement emerges from some primordial, universal dream tissue, within and against which the actual dreams play out.

St. Francis dreams repeatedly of his quest for holiness and service to the church, represented here as fragments of Gregorian chant, and his engaged conversation with his bird friends, some of which, e.g. the white-throated sparrow, make solo appearances. He dreams of his charmed empathy with wolves, who lie down in peace beside him and of his visit to Egypt, where he attempts to persuade the Sultan to end the bloodshed of the crusades. But his dreams return always to the search for piety and penitence.

Hitler dreams of power, conquest, and appetite, and of holy German art – Beethoven and Wagner and Haydn’s Deutschland über alles. But world domination through the sacrifices of war increasingly dominates his dreams. The movement closes in the gas chambers of the “final solution” as life seeps out of the six million and out of der Führer’s dreams.

Our poor bureaucrat is just trying to be good and efficient, but she’s not well prepared and makes embarrassing mistakes that frustrate her, in her dreams, to entropy and paralysis. Round two: she’s stuck in a repetitive chore that drives her crazy – she’s too good for this – but she keeps at it until the inevitable explosion occurs. In the third episode pleasant dreams lead her to indulge her romantic side and ultimately to all-out romantic passion, which all too quickly subsides. She stays in bed a bit late. Finally the dream tissue melts away and she’s left to go back to work.

DREAMWORLDS is fondly dedicated to Dana Muller and Gary Steigerwalt, two dear old friends whose dreamy collaborations have been a big part of my listening pleasure for many decades.


Commission/Dedication: Commissioned by and dedicated to Gary Steigerwalt and Dana Muller – two friends who make a difference.
Premiere: First performed February 28, 2016 at Mount Holyoke College by Gary Steigerwalt and Dana Muller.
Recording: Recorded by Dana Muller and Gary Steigerwalt on the album In Your Head – New Music for Piano Four Hands on Navona Records, available for stream/purchase from Apple Music, Spotify, YouTube, deezer, or Amazon.

I. Dreams of a Saint Saint Francis of Assisi (performed by Dana Muller and Gary Steigerwalt)
II. Dreams of a Madman Hitler (performed by Dana Muller and Gary Steigerwalt)
III. Dreams of a Bureaucrat a bureaucrat (performed by Dana Muller and Gary Steigerwalt)
This entry was posted in Chamber Music, Chamber Music with Piano, Chamber Music With..., Composers, Duo, Four Hands, Instrument, Lewis Spratlan, Piano and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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