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Dream Children
Raymond Agoult & The New Symphony Orchestra Of London Lyrics


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The lyrics can frequently be found in the comments below, by filtering for lyric videos or browsing the comments in the different videos below.
Most interesting comment from YouTube:
From a contrebombarde: https://www.contrebombarde.com/concerthall/music/40573, performance of the organ transcription by Ivor Atkins: These two pieces were written in 1902, when Elgar was approaching the peak of his fame and popularity. Unusually for Elgar they were not written to any commission. Michael Kennedy suggests that they may have been retrieved from the unused material for a symphony celebrating General Gordon which Elgar had been working on since 1898. They are not complete symphonic movements, but it was Elgar's practice to work in small sections and then put them together into a whole.

The orchestral score and parts were originally published by Joseph Williams Ltd. (London) in 1902, then in 1911 by Schott & Co. with the title "Enfants d'un Rêve" and the translation below this "(Dream-Children)".

The first performance was at the Queen's Hall on 4 September 1902, conducted by Arthur W Payne.

They are "dream sketches" based upon the writings of the essayist Charles Lamb (1775-1834), and the text of what inspired them is given in the First Comment.
The pieces are inspired by ‘Dream-Children ; A Reverie’, one of the "Essays of Elia" by Charles Lamb published in 1822,[3] and Elgar inscribed on the score the following excerpt from the essay. The essay is in one paragraph of over four pages: the writer imagines telling his 'little ones', called Alice and John, some tales of their great-grandmother Field and her house, and of his own courtship, in hope and eventual despair, for another Alice before, at the end of the essay, mysteriously

* * * And while I stood gazing, both the children gradually grew fainter
to my view, receding, and still receding till nothing at last but two mourn-
ful features were seen in the uttermost distance, which, without speech,
strangely impressed upon me the effects of speech: "We are not of Alice,
nor of thee, nor are we children at all. * * * * We are nothing; less than
nothing, and dreams. We are only what might have been." * * *

The most striking thing shown in the essay is that Lamb, though a lifelong bachelor, longed for family life which he was incapable of attaining. In a strange fit of passion he imagined all this in a dream-like state.

The name 'Alice' was important in Elgar's life: not only was his great friend Alice Stuart-Wortley his muse, but his wife was also Alice. ‘What might have been’ reflects a constant nostalgia throughout Elgar’s music, and is the predominating mood of both the Dream Children pieces, particularly the wistful No 1. No 2 is more smiling in tone, but reverts to nostalgia at the end, where it quotes the theme which began No. 1.


Comments from YouTube:

floäse

I was instantly charmed when I first heard this, and kept coming back to listen to it every day, now I think it has become one of my favourite pieces of music. Music in its most beautiful and artistic form.

Marjan Kole- loeve

Ik makes me listening to my own youth,memories comes like sweet pictures in my head!
It takes away the constant worriying there is ,
in my subconcience ,because of this corona time we live in now!
I am 75 !what is life?was life!?without music?

Stephen White

I first heard this in 1988 when I was visiting my brother in England and bought it just by chance and totally fell in love. This is music that reaches in and touches you where only God can touch you.

Harry Andruschak

My my, I'm 70 years old, and this is the first time I have heard this work. Well, classical music radio stations in southern California tend to be quite conservative as far as their playlists go. Thank God for You Tube, and its huge selection of wonderful music. 

Jim Stokes

YouTube forever! I have heard music I would NEVER have heard and by several orchestras! It sure beats buying music and not going broke buying phonograph needles and pickups. CHEERS!

Jim Stokes

+Harry Andruschak Indeed! And very accessible!

gnikcohs

Wistful, sad, elegant little masterpiece.   The piece is based on Charles Lamb's sad Dream Children: A Reverie.  It's on the internet and a VERY short read.  Love the painting.
Going to try some of the faster versions of this.

Gregor Samsa

A gorgeous essay. One of Lamb's finest.

tessrosed

I love this so much. And the performance seems to really get to the heart of it and convey its essence (to me the tempi feel perfect). Thank you!!!

somyod2u

Some years ago the BBC used the second of these two pieces as the title music to a serialised dramatisation of Charles Dickens ' David Copperfield'.

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