In his unique & haunting arrangement of Stephen Foster’s immortal ballad Beautiful Dreamer, David Gillingham infuses his own harmonic and rhythmic treatment, perfectly capturing the wonder of the lyrics, while still remaining true to the original tune.
Genre: Band | # of Players: Standard
Level: 3 | Duration: 3:30
Bb Clarinet 1
Bb Clarinet 2
Bb Clarinet 3
Bb Bass Clarinet
Alto Saxophone 1/2
Bb Trumpet 1
Bb Trumpet 2
Bb Trumpet 3
F Horn 1/2
Timpani (2 drums)
Percussion 1 (Bells)
Percussion 2 (Vibraphone, Suspended Cymbal)
Percussion 3 (4.3-octave Marimba)
Extracted from David Gillingham’s "Foster's America," a three-movement suite featuring four original songs by American composer, Stephen C. Foster (1826-1864), Beautiful Dreamer should be familiar to many. To capture the "dreamy" atmosphere, the movement begins with an introduction in E-flat minor with a flute and clarinet solo in dialogue using motives from the song accompanied by a texture of vibraphone, bells, and marimba to enhance the ambiance. E-flat minor succumbs to E-flat major as the song unfolds. However, there is a rhythmic twist to the presentation in that the melody employs three quarter notes followed by two dotted halves against a consistent pattern of eighths in 6/8 meter instead of the consistent eighth notes of the original version in 9/8 meter. The movement works its way to a climax of the tune in 3/4 meter and ends as dreamily as it began. Foster’s original lyrics are as follows:
Beautiful dreamer, wake unto me, Starlight and dewdrops are waiting for thee; Sounds of the rude world, heard in the day, Lull'd by the moonlight have all pass'd away! Beautiful dreamer, queen of my song, List while I woo thee with soft melody; Gone are the cares of life's busy throng, Beautiful dreamer, awake unto me! Beautiful dreamer, awake unto me!
Beautiful dreamer, out on the sea Mermaids are chanting the wild lorelie; Over the streamlet vapors are borne, Waiting to fade at the bright coming morn. Beautiful dreamer, beam on my heart, E'en as the morn on the streamlet and sea; Then will all clouds of sorrow depart, Beautiful dreamer, awake unto me! Beautiful dreamer, awake unto me!
- David R. Gillingham