National Orchestra of Wales
(Cerddorfa Genedlaethol Cymru)
Conducted by WARWICK BRAITHWAITE
LIKE the Christmas Overture and -other pieces of Coleridge-Taylor's, these three dream dances were composed originally for a production by Beerbohm Tree of Alfred Boyes' fairy play, The Forest of Wild Thyme... The production was planned for the Christmas season of 1910, but it had to make way for something else, and Coleridge-Taylor's music was never used in its original guise. But, as all the world agrees, it was much too good to be lost and he had the wisdom to arrange it in other ways. These Three Dream Dances are very well able to stand on their own feet without reference to the play which first inspired them.
To most listeners the name Thome probably suggests no more than this melodious little piece, Simple Aveu, most often played as a violin solo, but heard in many other arrangements too. But attractive though it is, it by no means does justice to the reputation he enjoyed in the latter part of last century. Winning the first prize for one branch of composition at the Paris Conservatoire in 1870, at the age of twenty, he soon made a name for himself both as composer and as teacher. Many of his lighter stage pieces enjoyed real success in the Paris theatres, and in 1891 he made a profound impression with beautiful music to a mystery play on The Childhood of Jesus. At least one serious opera and sacred choral work, as well as ballads and operettas, added to his reputation, so that this one piece of his which we know is a very small Sample of his work.
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