Gwendolen’s Dream (soprano, clarinet in A, cello)
Voicing: Soprano, Clarinet in A, Cello
duration: approx. 3.5 minutes
performance info: Linh Kauffman, soprano
A sweet and intimate love story.
I found the poem “Gwendolen’s Dream” on the back of a boutique greeting card in Missoula, Montana, in 2002. Soon afterwards I composed this short song for soprano, clarinet, and cello. The soprano serves as the narrator for this bittersweet love story, portrayed by the two instruments. The clarinet, as the woman, begins with a motive that turns over and around itself, rolling somewhat like a wave. The cello enters, representing her unattainable lover.
text: by G.T.P. Cleaver
Woman walked into the sea,
dissolved into foam;
bones saturating the barnacled rocks,
getting caught in the seaweed,
washing upon the shore.
and sometimes he came,
like a warrior to the sands,
the sun burning his body brown.
And every time he waded in
and floated on the waves
woman wrapped herself
about his body.
he would pick up a pretty shell;
that night, as he lay in bed,
he held it to his ear.
It reminded him,
though he could not fathom why,
of her voice.
composer’s notes: I have found that the instrumentalists prefer playing from the full score for this work, so no parts are sold separately.