Dreamsongs Op. 43

Second Elegy for chamber orchestra Op. 43

Forces: Chamber orchestra

Orchestration: fl (+picc), ob, cl, bcl, bn, 2 hn, tpt, tbn, perc (vib, xylo, glock, ratchet, SD), hp, cimb, str

Duration: 14 minutes

Publisher: Oxford University Press

Commissioned by the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, with funds made available by the Scottish Arts Council, and was given its first performance by the SCO conducted by Roderick Brydon on 20 August 1979 during the Edinburgh International Festival.

Programme Note:

Dreamsongs is dedicated to the memory of Benjamin Britten. The origin of all the thematic ideas in one of his most well-loved pieces is, I hope, obvious. But if it isn’t, then no matter because they are not quotations and they are developed in a manner totally different from that of Britten. Each of the six sections (which play continuously) is a meditation, often deliberately hypnotic or static, on a particular motif or atmosphere.

©Gordon Crosse 1979

“Dedicated to the memory of Benjamin Britten, not the least part of its creative cunning is the extraordinarily subtle manner in which it manages to evoke an unmistakable Brittenesque atmosphere while retaining its own distinctive tone of voice, its own very personal language, idiom and syntax.” – Robert Henderson, Daily Telegraph


Original record cover design by Karl Renner