a series of one-hour radio programs produced, written, hosted, and edited by Fred Flaxman
©2008 by Fred Flaxman
MUSIC: Anderson: Forgotten Dreams performed by the BBC Concert Orchestra conducted by Leonard Slatkin [Naxos 8.559356, track 3] [2:25] [under the following]
Hello and welcome to Compact Discoveries. I’m your guide, Fred Flaxman.
Over the centuries, composers have been inspired to write music by
their dreams or by the abstract idea of dreams. Over the next hour
we’ll experience some of this dream music. In the background right now
is Leroy Anderson’s Forgotten Dreams
performed by the BBC Concert Orchestra conducted by Leonard Slatkin on
a Naxos CD. We’ll conclude this hour with a beautiful new version of
this piece in which a voice has been added to the orchestra.
But before we get to that, we’ll hear music by Tchaikovsky, Liszt,
Schumann, Dykstra, and Joyce. And we’ll even hear three dream songs
sung by the dream-like voice of Bing Crosby. So I hope you can stay
with me through this entire hour.
Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 1 in G Minor, Opus 13, is called
“Winter Dreams” for a reason. And that reason is the first movement,
which the score indicates as “Dreams of a winter journey.”
The First Symphony was Tchaikovsky’s first large-scale
work. He started working on it in March, 1866, driving himself hard,
mostly at night, and finding it a grueling task. He wrote that it drove
him “to the brink of insanity.” One doctor was summoned after one of
Tchaikovsky’s nocturnal attacks of nerves, which were accompanied by
hallucinations, feelings of intense anxiety and the torment of
“hammers,” as he called the nervous palpitations in his head. He
decided never again to work so late at night.
The symphony underwent several revisions over the years before it ended
up in the version that is performed today. We’re going to listen to the
first movement only, since that is the one with the dreamy title. It is
from a Deutsche Grammophon compact disc recording with Herbert von
Karajan conducting the Berlin Philharmonic. It was originally a stereo
analog recording made in 1967.
MUSIC: Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 1 in G Minor (“Winter Dreams”) : First Movement, performed by The Berlin Philharmonic conducted by Herbert von Karajan [Deutsche Grammophon 419 176-2, track 1] [11:39]
The first movement of Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 1 in G Minor, the movement the symphony was named for, “Winter Dreams.” Herbert von Karajan conducted the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra.
Franz Liszt wrote three nocturnes for piano called Liebesträume,
which means “love dream” in German. The third is by far the most
famous, and that is the one we’ll hear now as played by Jeno Jandó on a
MUSIC: Liszt: Liebesträume No. 3 in A-flat performed by pianist Jeno Jandó [Naxos 8.553595, track 5] [4:23]
Liebesträume No. 3 in A-flat performed by pianist Jeno Jandó.
Robert Schumann wrote a piano piece called Träumerei, which means “Dream” or “Reverie” in German. It is from his collection of piano pieces called Kinderszenen / Scenes from Childhood,
written in 1838. These pieces were not written expressly for children,
but rather for adults reflecting on their memories of childhood.
We’ll hear the work played twice: first in the original piano version
as performed by Barbara Nissman on a Pierian Recording Society compact
disc, then in an arrangement by the French composer Philippe Gaubert
for flute and piano. Fenwick Smith will be the flutist and Sally
Pinkas, the pianist, in that Naxos recording.
MUSIC: Schumann: “Träumerei” from Kinderszenen, Op. 15, performed by pianist Barbara Nissman [Pierian 0025, track 14] [2:34]
MUSIC: Schumann/Gaubert: “Träumerei” from Kinderszenen, Op. 15, performed by flutist Fenwick Smith and pianist Sally Pinkas [Naxos 8.557307, track 14] [2:33]
Two versions of Robert Schumann’s Träumerei / Dream. First
the original piano version as performed by Barbara Nissman; then the
arrangement by French flutist and composer, Philippe Gaubert, performed
by flutist Fenwick Smith accompanied by pianist Sally Pinkas.
American composer Brian Dykstra, who is both a professor of music and
chairman of the music department at the College of Wooster in Wooster,
Ohio, has written 36 rags for piano solo over the past thirty years.
One of them, written in 2002, is called Sweet Daydreams. He describes it as “fairly slow, gentle, pretty, and at times even drowsy.” In this Centaur recording of 15 of Dykstra’s Concert Rags, Noel Lester is the pianist.
MUSIC: Dykstra: Sweet Daydreams performed by pianist Noel Lester [Centaur CRC 2662, track 6] [5:25]
Noel Lester played Sweet Daydreams by Brian Dykstra.
You are listening to Compact Discoveries. I’m your guide, Fred Flaxman, and this hour is devoted to “Classic Dreams.”
[optional one-minute break not included in total timing]
English composer Archibald Joyce, who lived from 1873 until 1963,
became known as “The English Waltz King.” He wrote at least three light
orchestral dream pieces in 3/4 time. We have time for two of them now, Dreaming and Songe d’automne /Dream of Autumn. The RTE Concert Orchestra of Dublin is conducted by Andrew Penny in this 1994 Marco Polo recording.
MUSIC: Joyce: Dreaming performed by the RTE Concert Orchestra, Dublin, conducted by Andrew Penny [Marco Polo 8.223694, track 1] [4:05]
MUSIC: Joyce: Songe d’automne /Dream of Autumn performed by the RTE Concert Orchestra, Dublin, conducted by Andrew Penny [Marco Polo 8.223694, track 3] [3:42]
Dreaming and Songe d’automne /Dream of Autumn by Archibald Joyce. The RTE Concert Orchestra of Dublin was conducted by Andrew Penny.
I mentioned earlier that the theme for this hour is “Classic Dreams.”
Notice I didn’t say “Classical Dreams.” The reason for that is that the
remainder of the hour will feature classic American popular music,
including three dream songs as sung by Bing Crosby.
The first of these is called Wrap Your Troubles in Dreams.
It was recorded with the John Scott Trotter Orchestra in Los Angeles on
June 9, 1939, and is by Koehler, Moh and Barris. The second is called When My Dreamboat Comes Home.
It is by Franklin and Friend, and was recorded with a group called the
Bob Cats in Los Angeles on May 27, 1942. And finally there’s Day Dreaming
by Kern and Kahn, recorded with the Victor Young Orchestra on June 14,
1941. All three of these songs were reissued on compact discs on the
Past Perfect label.
MUSIC: Koehler, Moh and Barris: Wrap Your Troubles in Dreams sung by Bing Crosby [Past Perfect 220383-203, track 4] [3:03]
MUSIC: Franklin and Friend: When My Dreamboat Comes Home sung by Bing Crosby [Past Perfect 220383-203, track 16] [2:25]
MUSIC: Kern and Kahn: Day Dreaming sung by Bing Crosby [Past Perfect 204335-203, track 10] [3:06]
Three dream songs as sung by Bing Crosby: Wrap Your Troubles in Dreams, When My Dreamboat Comes Home and Day Dreaming.
I’m going to conclude this hour of “Classic Dreams” the way we began,
with Leroy Anderson’s Forgotten Dreams. At the beginning of the hour I
played Anderson’s original orchestration of this piece. Now I’m going
to play for you a new version which adds a soprano to the song in an
arrangement by Robert Wendell, which I find very pleasing to the ear.
Kim Criswell is the soprano in this world première Naxos recording with
the BBC Concert Orchestra conducted by Leonard Slatkin.
MUSIC: Anderson/Wendell: Forgotten Dreams, BBC Concert Orchestra conducted by Leonard Slatkin, Kim Criswell, soprano [Naxos 8.559381, track 14] [2:51]
Leroy Anderson’s Forgotten Dreams as arranged for voice and
orchestra by Robert Wendell. Kim Criswell was the soprano. The BBC
Concert Orchestra was conducted by Leonard Slatkin.
And that brings this hour of Compact Discoveries to a
close. I hope you enjoyed “Classic Dreams.” If you missed any of this
hour or would like to hear it again, go to www.compactdiscoveries.com
on the internet where you’ll find links to stream most Compact Discoveries programs on demand without charge. Look for program number 147. At the web site you’ll also find scripts for every Compact Discoveries
program with complete information on every selection. There are
articles there as well, listener reaction, and a list of stations
broadcasting the programs.
This is Fred Flaxman thanking you for listening.
MUSIC: Anderson: Forgotten Dreams performed by the BBC Concert Orchestra conducted by Leonard Slatkin [Naxos 8.559356, track 3] [2:25] Ends at 56:40
ANNOUNCER [Steve Jencks]: Compact Discoveries is a
production of Compact Discoveries, Incorporated, a tax-exempt,
nonprofit organization located at 36 Pickens Lane in Weaverville, North
Carolina, and on the web at compactdiscoveries.com. These programs are
distributed to public radio stations nationwide through PRX, the Public
Program Ends at 57:00