The Dreamers - A Gothic Tale for Horn Trio by Niels Marthinsen.
The Dreamers for horn, violin and piano is the sixth of a series of seven compositions named after Karen Blixen's collection of short stories Seven Gothic Tales.
My musical gothic tales are written for very different ensembles - THE SUPPER AT ELSINORE is a saxophone quartet, THE OLD CHEVALIER is for bass trombone and piano, THE MONKEY is a chamber orchestra work - but they all share musical material in a criss-cross of contextual references reminiscent of Blixen's narrative complexity:
Themes and motivs from one piece appear in others in new and surprising shapes and combinations.
Karen Blixen's THE DREAMERS has the most complex narrative structure of all her seven gothic tales. The story is made up of three tales with different narrators, but with the same principal caracter in various disguises, all three imbedded within a fourth tale that serves as a framework for the entire short story.
The main story line unravels the life of a famous opera diva who looses her voice during a terrible fire. Before this her life was perpetual bliss, and the tragedy drives her into assuming different personality guises in order to escape reality.
Toward the end she is confronted with her true identity, and dies.
THE DREAMERS isn't 'about' anything. The music is inspired by the artistic content of Blixen's short story - it's emotionalism, dramatic construction, atmosphere, period and settings - but unfolds in time and musical space in ways that are completely independent of the story's narrative progression...
except one might say that the three players try their best to either catch or escape each other, and that when they finally meet, it happens abruptly, even tragically - and only barely provides a little consolation.