Cast in a single large movement, it could be thought of as a latter-day fantasy on the “Queen Mab” speech from Romeo and Juliet, in which Mercutio describes the “fairies’ midwife” whose little wagon is drawn “athwart men’s noses as they lie asleep” to bring them dreams. In this, his second work using harpsichord, the composer shows himself to be completely comfortable with the idiosyncrasies of the instrument, able to create new sounds and textures with amazing fluency. (Notes by Bruce Gustafson)

Performances of Dreaming

Premiere: June 2, 1985, Bruce Gustafson and Arthur Lawrence, harpsichordists, Spoleto Festival, Charleston, SC

May 30, 1985, Bruce Gustafson and Arthur Lawrence, harpsichordists, Davidson College, NC

February 2, 1986, Bruce Gustafson and Arthur Lawrence, harpsichordists, Nevin Chapel, Franklin and Marshall College, Lancaster, PA

Reviews of Dreaming

The Evening Post, Charleston, Vincent C. Schwerin Jr.

“Dreaming”, a new piece by John Carbon, was given its world premiere at this concert. Without benefit of score, this reviewer found the piece highly enjoyable and stimulating. There was a gradual buildup of dissonance that was truly awesome in its use of polychords and complex rhythms. Near the end, a third [actually a third and fourth] harpsichord was introduced via tape and added to the general picture of the unreal world of dreams.

© John Carbon 2015