Lullaby: No Bad Dreams, for violin and piano

Commissioned By Curtis-on-tour for Benjamin Beilman and Yekwon Sunwoo

Year
2009
Duration
7 minutes

Premiered at venues including the Library of Congress, Jazz at Lincoln Center, and the Ravinia Festival

When I was a child, I was often afraid of bedtime. Part of this was the darkness, part of it was the knowledge that with darkness came sleep, and with
sleep, dreams. Some of those dreams would be nightmares. And when I would have these nightmares, I would wake up in the middle of the night and run to my parents' room. Being a very practical child, I approached my parents about the problem and we worked something out to solve it. Each night before bed,
they would come to my door. They would say, "No bad dreams?" and I would respond, "No bad dreams." And then again: "No bad dreams?" "No bad
dreams." Finally, they'd say, "Good night," I'd say "Good night," and then we'd each say it one more time. Of course this was pretty tedious so we all spoke
quickly. But on many occasions, it soothed me, and I had sleep with no dreams or only good ones.


This work for violin and piano recalls those memories of my childhood before bedtime. The opening section is very calm and serene, but it soon gives way to a more playful middle section (perhaps a reflection of the nights on which I had too much sugar). This section leads into the climax of the piece, which harks back to the opening, but now the beginning material is more troubled and anguished, a foreshadowing of the potential nightmares to come. These conflicts are quieted in the ending, but there remains a tinge of darkness as the piece descends into sleep and the magical world of dreams.

Category
Chamber Works
Instrumentation
view Other

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