Written in 2011, and revised in 2014 for the RTÉ NSO ‘Horizons’ series, Träumerei draws on a number of musical themes from the chamber works of Johannes Brahms, which are sewn into its fabric through various types of transformation. They supposedly had hidden significances for Brahms – it’s been suggested they were musical inscriptions of Clara Schumann’s name – and although they bear no particular significance within this piece, I’ve personally always felt these hidden meanings render the melancholic aspects of his works all the more poignant.
Although vastly different in style, Träumerei is imbued with a particular melancholy and nostalgia perhaps reminiscent of Brahms. The piece is one long line of streeling lyricism for solo violin, around which a tapestry of sparse orchestral sound is spun. It’s an exploration of an inward-looking and interior space, where the solo voice leads us through a dreamscape at various times enigmatic, nightmarish, and luminous.
Träumerei was premiered by soloist Kristine Balanas, with the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra and conductor Gavin Maloney, on January 20th 2015 as part of the RTÉ NSO 'Horizons' Series.