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Work of the Week – Bernard Rands: Dream

On 1 November, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and their chief conductor Riccardo Muti present the world premiere of Bernard Rands’ Dream in Chicago.

Rands’ music has a distinctive character that combines ‘plangent lyricism’ with dramatic intensity. His new work for orchestra is based on a melody he composed to amuse himself on a long flight between London and Sidney. The melody forms the DNA of the entire work, out of which everything else is derived.

Bernard Rands – Dream: The experience of dreaming

Though Rands calls his work Dream, the piece is not a musical representation of any specific dream but an attempt to describe in music the experience of dreaming. The musical form reflects this, exploring the unforeseeable, fantastic but also strange and mysterious converging pictures, the intense clarity, and the chaos of dreaming.

‘This landscape of the mind allows me to explore a post-Debussian formal aesthetic I have been developing over the years.’ (Bernard Rands)

Following the premiere, the Chicago Symphony will give two further performances of Dream on 2 and on 5 November. Later this season, Northwestern University Symphony Orchestra will perform Rands’ Concerto for English Horn and Orchestra on 16 April at Pick-Staiger Concert Hall Evanston.