Dream-like and fairy tale mood expressed in the sound, “Dream Story” by Yamada is composed along the fragment of German poetry came to Kōsaku Yamada’s mind one morning.
Sie war zum Sterben,
Ich nahm sie nach Heim.
Und dann, und dann -
Sie ward mein Weib!
The above poem means ‘I brought home a woman who is about to die, and in that way, the woman became my wife’.Rhythm of the original German verse was reflected in the piece.Kōsaku
Yamada composed many poetic musical works with lyrical titles around 1916-17.This “Dream Story” is one of these works.
According to the composer, the last three phrases of this piece are equivalent to the same old expression in fairy tales ‘once upon a time’, and a part equivalent to ‘Und dann, und dann-’, he says, expresses reminiscence.Syncopations in the latter half of this piece echo retrospectively with a suggestive poem and draw the audiences into remembrance.
The sound makes you fall into a doze, as if you are both awake and asleep.In the end, a tonic chord of f-major resounds and audiences are invited towards their past or a distant place, just like to be in an old fairy tale.
Composed in 1916, dedicated to Etsuko Terasaki.The composer himself premiered this work with the other premiered works in his recital in November, 1916.In the program note for this first performance, the composer explained why he had written this piece.According to it, inspired by the rhythm of a poem which occurred to him at his waking up in the morning on 16th July, he “realized the feeling like a dream, or like a fairy-tale, in tones”.The subject of the poem, which doesn’t have a profound sense for Yamada, is a dying woman.The first half of the piece illustrates the poem almost faithfully and the second half represents Yamada’s feeling toward the poem.
Yamada referred the phrase in the second half of the poem “Und dann, und dann”, as “the feeling of reminiscence, namely the poem itself ” (probably it means the genre of the poem itself, not only this one), in the representation of which the real point of the piece lies. His explanation that he “stopped the last three phrases with the feeling that “once upon a time”, following the first phrase of a fairy tale”, suggests that the composer’s musical inspiration is put down directly in this piece, which represents his talent without ratification.