Opus 400

Dream Etudes, Book IV (2002)

for Oboe

  • Remembering
  • Bounding
  • Silencing

Duration: 9.25 min.

Dedication: for Juozas Rimas

Commission: Commissioned for Juozas Rimas

Publisher: Lauren Keiser Music Publishing

Performance materials available from the publisher.

Dream Etudes, Book IV (2002) for oboe was commissioned for and is dedicated to Juozas Rimas, and was directly inspired by his playing in a wide range of repertoire—from early music to contemporary. It is a set of three pieces for oboe.

Like the first three books of Dream Etudes (Book I for solo clarinet, 1999; Book II for solo piano, 2001; Book III for solo tuba, 2002), each movement has an “action title” which inspired its musical content and procedures. The overall title of the work refers to the overlapping and juxtapositions of elements of the basic materials (which run throughout all three movements), as if remembered through a dream.

The first movement, Remembering, begins with an lyric rhapsody, it contains contrasts and extremes. An enigmatic middle section—very nervous and jumpy—interrupts the rhapsody. The rhapsodic material returns to conclude the movement.

The second movement, Bounding, is a light dance, bouncing throughout. The movement is structured using a variety of additive melodic and harmonic procedures—exploring unexpected phrase groupings within an overall feel of “perpetual motion.”

The third movement, Silencing, takes a Lithuanian folksong (“The Peacock Was Striding In the Farmstead”) as its starting point. The oboe’s mood throughout the movement is one of singing. The beginning establishes an improvisatory and fluid rhythmic feel, inspired by field recordings of the folksongs. Musically, the folksong itself is gradually revealed over the course of the movement. Gentle “wind sounds” are interspersed with silences and the “singing.” Near the end, a phrase of the folksong is revealed in direct quotation. But, the wind prevails — until only silence remains.