Oneiroi by Charlotte Bray for solo piano.

Commissioned by the Festspiele Europäische Wochen Passau and dedicated to Oliver Knussen.

First performed on 7 July 2013 at the Festspiele Europäische Wochen Passau by pianist Mona Asuka Ott. 

Programme Notes

In Greek mythology, dreams are personified by dark-winged spirits called Oneiroi. They emerge at night from their cavernous home in Erebos, the land of eternal darkness beyond the rising sun. According to Homer, the Oneiroi passed through one of two gates: the deceitful dreams through a polished ivory gate, while the prophetic god-sent dreams issue from a transparent gate made of horn. Since dreams are essentially a private inner space, a hidden dialogue of thoughts and emotions, the parallel of the Oneiroi is fitting in viewing the piece as a Spirit of Dreams.

Works by both Hans Werner Henze and Oliver Knussen inspired the piece. A dialogue of thoughts flow throughout - an incredibly private inner space, frequently returning to melodies, as if flashes of dream recur. Sometimes dark, isolated, and pensive, and at other times delicate, lyrical, and warmer in character, the music is in constant flux between a clear and a blurred state - one questions whether it is dream or reality.

- Charlotte Bray

Duration: 9 minutes