Luke Bedford: Good Dream She Has

Luke Bedford Good Dream She Has
Good Dream She Has

Luke Bedford: Good Dream She Has

Year of composition:
2007-2008
Scored for:
for soprano, mezzo-soprano, tenor and 14 players
Composer:
Luke Bedford
Text author:
Glyn Maxwell
Writer of pre-existing text:
John Milton
Instrumentation:
1 1 2 1 - 1 1 0 0 - perc, hp, guit, vln, vla, vc, cb
Instrumentation details:
alto flute
cor anglais
clarinet in Bb
bass clarinet in Bb
bassoon (+cbsn)
horn in F
trumpet in C
percussion(1)
guitar
harp
violin
viola
violoncello
contrabass
Commission:
Commissioned by Birmingham Contemporary Music Group with financial assistance from Arts Council England West Midlands and the following Investors through BCMG’s Sound Investment scheme: Anonymous Viv and Hazel Astling Valda and Leon Bailey Bill Barry In
Duration:
15’
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Audiosamples

Good Dream She Has
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The complete perusal score (PDF-preview)

Work introduction

My initial concern with this piece was how I could translate, into music, the subtle shifts of mood and atmosphere in Glyn Maxwell's text. For virtually two-thirds of the piece the music is dominated by the sound of a repeated G. It acts as a continuous linking device, whilst around it ideas develop, decay or return. So with the repeated G acting as a pivot point, I could move almost instantaneously from, for example, a moment of sombre reflection to more active material, but without the change seeming too abrupt. The repeated G is never entirely regular – sometimes it arrives fractionally earlier or later than expected. And it is almost never on the conductor's beat – so there is a constant tension between the ensemble's downbeat and the pulsed G. It is only at the main climax of the piece where this repeated G's hold over the music finally breaks down.

All three singers have dual roles in this piece. They act together, especially at the opening, as a chorus of 'creatures'. The soprano has her own part as Eve, the tenor as Adam, and the mezzo as a single „creature“. I wanted to help show the contrasts between the voices, by writing for each of them in a different way. So again, the pivot note G acts as a stabilising force, while around it the voices move between lyrical and more detached methods of singing.

As far as the ensemble's sound goes, I opted for the lower, darker tones of the alto flute, cor anglais, bass clarinet and bassoon. For the most part I didn't want the ensemble to be too bright and dominant over the voices. The sounds of the plucked string instruments, the harp and guitar, are also important. The piece lasts about fourteen minutes.

Luke Bedford

Special prints

Good Dream She Has

Luke Bedford: Good Dream She Has

study score
for soprano, mezzo-soprano, tenor and 14 players , 15’
Instr.: 1 1 2 1 - 1 1 0 0 - perc, hp, guit, vln, vla, vc, cb

Good Dream She Has

Luke Bedford: Good Dream She Has

study score
for soprano, mezzo-soprano, tenor and 14 players , 15’
Instr.: 1 1 2 1 - 1 1 0 0 - perc, hp, guit, vln, vla, vc, cb

World première

Location:
Birmingham
Date:
14.04.2008
Orchestra:
Birmingham Contemporary Music Group
Conductor:
Oliver Knussen

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