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Dark Dreams

By Sean O'Loughlin

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Cello, Contrabass, Piano, Viola, Violin 1, Violin 2, Violin 3 (Viola T.C.) - 2
Composed by Sean O'Loughlin. Young String Orchestra. With Standard notation. 144 pages. Carl Fischer Music #YAS190. Published by Carl Fischer Music (CF.YAS190).

Item Number: CF.YAS190

ISBN 9781491151556. 9 x 12 inches. Key: E minor.

As part of a collaboration between students and composer, Sean O'Loughlin, Dark Dreams is a dark and mysterious piece that utilizes techniques such as tremolo and pizzicato. Following a slow and mysterious opening which illustrates the tapestry of sound for the composition, the work develops the musical material into various vivid, intense, and gripping musical moments.

Dark Dreams was commissioned by the Westport, Connecticut Public Schools for the Bedford Middle School 7th Grade Orchestra, Michele Anderson, director. It is a piece influenced by many ideas from the students including such descriptive words as dark, mysterious, vivid, intense and gripping. The collaboration process on commissions like this are very rewarding for both the students and composer.

The students were looking to include techniques like tremolo and pizzicato, so the opening includes both of these to set the tapestry of sound for the composition. The slow and mysterious opening gives way to an intense fast section at m. 19. Trading off between upper and lower strings adds to the tension before the upper strings take hold of the melody at m. 31. This melody is derived from the slow opening material. The lower strings get their chance on the melody at m. 47 in an augmented form. This builds to a dramatic slow section at m. 57. The opening material returns at m. 66 to transition back to the fast material. Make sure to play the silence at m. 88 for maximum effect and really lean into the final note even though it is on beat 3 of the measure.

About Carl Fischer Young String Orchestra Series

This series of Grade 2/Grade 2.5 pieces is designed for second and third year ensembles. The pieces in this series are characterized by:
--Occasionally extending to third position
--Keys carefully considered for appropriate difficulty
--Addition of separate 2nd violin and viola parts
--Viola T.C. part included
--Increase in independence of parts over beginning levels

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