Dream and Echoes for SATB chorus


"Some of the highlights for me are the Echoes of a Young Poet's Dream from Dream and Echoes, performed impeccably here by the vocal ensemble The First Readings Project. Its harmonically rich dissonances pull you into a dark fog that magically lifts once you hear the goosebump inducing final chord."

– Jean-Yves Duperron,
Classical Music Sentinel
(March 2020)

"...best of all is the liturgical and gorgeous voices by the a cappella First [Readings] Project on the ethereal “Dream and Echoes 1998”. Rich rewards abound."

– George W. Harris,
Jazz Weekly
(March 2020)

Dream and Echoes was composed in 1998, but never performed. Fifteen years later, composer/conductor David Ostenso Moore and his talented choir presented a wonderful reading of the piece with his First Readings Project in St. Paul, Minnesota. This group later recorded the work for a 2016 release on the Ablaze label which is included on my 2020 CD, by moonlight.

First Readings Project

There are two choral songs in this set: “A Young Poet Dreams of his Beloved Who Lives Across the River” followed by “Echoes of a Young Poet’s Dream”. The first text is by Sao Nan, and was published in translation in Chinese Lyrics from the Book of Jade (1918). The poet evokes images from nature – the moon, sky, wind, and water – in expressing the melancholy of longing and unrequited desire. The second text is my own and offers a commentary on the first text using the same imagery.

The music reflects the difference in time between the two texts. The first choral song’s texture is often contrapuntal with certain imitation of motives between the various voices. In contrast, the second song is more homophonic, with the voices moving together in harmony. Still, in spite of these textural differences, the tonal language is all of one piece; this commonality connects the two songs, as does the imagery of the text.

Please note that the cost of the music is per copy required for performance.

SATB chorus a cappella
Date completed:
ca. 7:00
Texts by Sao Nan and the composer

A Young Poet Dreams of His Beloved Who Lives Across the River

Echoes of a Young Poet's Dream

Featured Recording

by moonlight

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