Dreaming As The Summers Die

for Violin, Viola and Cello (2016)

Duration: 22 minutes
Commisioned by Trio ZPR

Trio ZiliacusPerssonRaitinen:
Cecilia Zilliacus, violin
Johanna Persson, viola
Kati Raitinen, cello

Live recording from Grünewaldssalen, Stockholm Concert Hall, the 26th September 2016.

I. Aria -
II. Sarabanda -
III. Variazioni -
IV. Presto - Milonga - Corale -
V. Canon a 3 - Corale -
VI. Variazioni -
VII. Aria da capo



Score and parts can be purchased at Swedish Music Information Centre.



The title "Dreaming as the summers die" derives from a poem by Lewis Caroll, "Life is but a dream", which ends like this:

"In a Wonderland they lie,
Dreaming as the days go by,
Dreaming as the summers die;
Ever drifting down the stream--
Lingering in the golden gleam--
Life, what is it but a dream?"

The estetics of the dream is a subject that I constantly seem to return to. It's uniting things that are seemingly completely unrelated - and what is interesting to me, is to get these disparate things to connect with each other, so that they seem to truly belong together, as if the one would actually not last without the other.

The piece consists of seven movements, connected to an integral piece of 22 minutes. There, one finds an initial allegro, a quick scherzo, a slow movement and a final - so, in that way, the form is kind of familiar.

Here, many threads are connected from different sources. One of these threads come from Bach - his Goldberg Variations. Since the string trio ZilliacusPerssonRaitinen has been performing this piece all over the world, I wanted to write in this subtle "wink" to them. In the midst of the buzzing perpetuum mobile of the first movement, the first eight bars of the Theme of The Goldberg Variations are heard in the high register of the violin, before it continues through the three instruments. The melody is both augmented and compressed, so don't worry if Bach's presence is not immediately perceptible...

Another thread comes from my tango compositions. In the middle of the Presto, a milonga appears, a quick-paced relative of the tango. It's quite raw, but dancing to it should be possible.

A third thread comes from my opera, Zucco, which was premiered at The Royal Opera in Stockholm in October of 2016. For the final scene, I wrote an aria that I eventually decided to remove, because it din't fit in the atmosphere that the situation demanded. But I was so endeared by the melody, that I realized that it would soon turn up in some other piece - and here it is. It appears in both of the Variations - like variations over an opera aria that never became an opera aria.