The Dream Tunnel

for Narrator and Orchestra

William Kraft

Text: Barbara Kraft
Publisher: Theodore Presser Company
Print Status: Rental

Quick Overview

"The Dream Tunnel" was commissioned by Mrs.George S. Behrendt for performance by the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra in a series of Bicentennial Children?s Concerts at the Music Center in Los Angeles. These premiere performances ? May 12, 13, and 14, 1976 ? were conducted by Calvin Simmons.

Music was chosen that was either fundamental in its day, or had become incorporated into American ?serious? music. To create a work that would be consistent with my own aesthetic and stylistic premises, I chose as one major aspect of the work, the technique of collage ? a technique particularly explored in three previous works, "Contextures", "Games: Collage No.1", and "Games: Collage No. 2".

The music that is heard, in order of appearance, is:
1. "Psalm 15" (1591), from the "Ainsworth Psalter" brought from Europe by the Puritans.
2. "Parthia No. 1" (1807) by David Moritz Michael, representing the Moravian introduction of the style of European music (e.g. Haydn).
3. "Chester" (1770) and "Jargon" (1778), significant works by America?s first major composer, William Billings.
4. "Yankee Doodle" (ca. 1776), the song which although originally British, became the hallmark of revolutionary America.
5. "The Bamboula" (1850), the adaptation of Black music in a major piano work by Louis Gottschalk.
6. Music in the style of George Gershwin, 1930?s ? further incorporation of Black music.
7. Music in the style of Aaron Copland, 1940?s ?incorporation of American folk music.

Serious music in America, after the 50?s, became too diverse and too much a part of the international scene to be incorporated as ?American.? Also, one other outstanding American composer, Charles Ives (early 1900?s) is not specifically quoted. However, the whole technique of collage ? and thus the stylistic basis of "The Dream Tunnel" ? comes from him, and thus it is not improper to say that both he and "The Dream Tunnel" represent one aspect of music in America after 1950. As a particular point of reference in the work, the first full orchestra entrance ? which comes just after the narrator?s opening lines ? has most of the themes played at once, comparable to the controlled yet random collage style of Ives.

Both the music and the text of "The Dream Tunnel" were written from the premise that children and sensitive adults absorb and comprehend through feeling and imagination, truths that can too easily escape many others encumbered by traditional concepts.

Available on Rental

Additional Information

Commission Olive Behrendt
Composition Date 1976
Duration 00:15:00
Orchestration Narr.; 2(Picc.) 2 2 2 - 3(3 opt.) 2 2 0; 2Perc. Pno.(Cel.) Str.
Premiere May 12, 1976. Los Angeles Philharmonic, Calvin Simmons conducting; Los Angeles, CA