for mixed SATB choir

Written: 2010
Duration: 7'
Instrumentation: mixed SATB choir (a cappella with divisis, SSAATTBB)
Commissioned by the Chamber Choir of EuropeNicol Matt, director
World PremiereChamber Choir of EuropeNicol Matt, director, July 28, 2011, The European Festival of Church Music, Schwäbisch Gemünd, Germany.
PublisherBill Holab Music

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The text for A Dream Within A Dream is derived from the Edgar Allan Poe poem of the same name. Poe wrote this poem when he was eighteen, and it was first published in 1849, the year he died. The poem may be viewed as a reflection on Poe’s feelings about his life at the time, and dramatizes his confusion in watching the important people in his life slip away, like grains of sand. Realizing he cannot hold onto even one grain of sand leads to his final question: "Is all that we see or seem, But a dream within a dream?"

A Dream Within a Dream was commissioned by Festival Europäische Kirchenmusik for Nicol Matt and the Chamber Choir of Europe.

Press Quotes

The two works [A Dream Within A Dream, Life is But a Dream] by the important living American composer Robert Paterson left an especially deep impression, with dynamically, thoroughly worked out clusters and rhythmically sophisticated, interwoven patterns. The audience responded to the performances in the crowded Franciscan church with long, sustained applause and standing ovations.
— Review of World Premiere in Gmünder Tagespost, Schwäbisch Gmünd, Germany, Saturday, July 30, 2011
Paterson was personally present at the concert and received a lot of applause. [A Dream Within A Dream, Life is But a Dream] made use of homogenous phrases, but also clusters and dissonance which never hurt... his work contained a great variety of parts and voicing, in some case extended with soloists.
— Review of World Premiere in Rems Zeitung, Schwäbisch Gmünd, Germany, Saturday, July 30, 2011