Ēriks Ešenvalds – Only in Sleep

Exeter University Singers perform Ērik Ešenvalds’ ‘Only in Sleep’, the first of four recordings taken in June 2017.

“Written in 2010, Sara Teasdale’s nostalgic vision of childhood re-experienced through dreams is expressed in simple verse in regular metre, which Ešenvalds matches in music of regular four-bar phrases. But infinitely subtle are the chord voicings; a change from humming to vocalise to spotlight a phrase here, or internal doublings to highlight a particular line in the texture there — all serve to sustain the freshness, and the soaring descants are achingly expressive.

In this age of social media where new pressures are being put on children and adolescents from such an early age, the choir were encouraged to try and recall a time from early childhood before the extreme highs and lows of ‘first loves’, when friendship mattered more than romantic love and where the sheer joy and innocence of childhood could be remembered. I hope you enjoy our interpretation”

– Jonathan Lucas Wood, Conductor.