As a reaction to the rational Enlightenment´s belief in reason feeling, fantasy, night and dream become keywords during Romanticism. But the Romantics have no patent on the dream. Already in the Bible, all manner of information is conveyed by means of dreams and Scripture is still a source of inspiration for various art forms.
There are no limitations in the dream, it is fantastic when the brain is completely unrestrained, it seems absolutely real while it is in play and is nothing that we have to take responsibility for when we wake up. Blake speaks of the balance between innocence and experience – this is reminiscent of the relationship between the dream and the waking state: “You´re innocent when you dream”, sings Tom Waits in another context.
Can we then speak of nocturnal atmosphere and dreamlike sonorities in music, or is it only the text or title of the work that governs our conception? There is probably no correct answer to that. All the same, text and music work together: a fisherman´s nightly journey does not have to sound like the depiction of a child´s dream in the pale summer evening, but in both cases similar colours and nuances can evoke the association. After all, what is important is that which is created with the dream as an impulse, and that it gives inspiration to outstanding music.
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