Dreamland (2010) for Soprano, Clarinet, and String Quartet.
Text by Edgar Allan Poe, 1844.
Preface / Programme Note
When looking for an interpretation on the internet of Edgar Allan Poe´s DREAMLAND, it turns out that there are as many interpretations as there are interpreters. Some believe it is the mad hallucinations of a drug addict (could be Poe himself), others see it as Poe´s equivalent of Dante´s INFERNO – a tale from the Underworld.
One thing is certain, though. DREAMLAND is a ”fantasy”, the vision of a dreamvoyager arriving at and staying in a mythical location beyond and between space and time, a place of strange majesty and surreal spectacles, such as: “Mountains toppling evermore into seas without a shore”. At the same time it is a “peaceful, soothing region” – a mystical ”wonderland” not unlike the fabled Eldorado, whichis mentioned in the poem.
Poe biographer Arthur Hobson Quinn called it “one of Poe´s finest creations”,with each phrase contributing to one effect: a human traveler wandering betweenlife and death.
DREAMLAND first appeared in print in America in the June 1844 issue of Graham´s Magazine, and was subsequently published in a June 1845 edition of The Broadway Journal.
Poul Ruders, July 2010