Peter Greve may be seen as a prime example for music as a late vocation – though it’s hard to believe when one hears how deeply his creations root in the bon ton of contemporary musical academia. THE PALACE OF THE DREAMKING offers a cross-section through Greve’s eclectic and wildly experimental body of compositional work.
The Palace of the Dreamking is, essentially, program music taken to the 21st Century. Greve, who received musical training in his youth, spent his working life as a chemist, and eventually returned to music full-time in his retirement, chose to conduct this scenic rhapsody himself: and it was a good decision. For who could understand a creation better than the creator himself? The title of the following Partita may lull some listener into the false security that they are in for a Baroque feast: not so. Greve instead prefers to demolish hardened expectations by freely expanding the very notion of a partita, scoring it not for a single instrument, but for 11-person brass ensemble in three movements.
Just as experimental is Give us Peace, an “Invocation for organ and mixed choir.” A work commissioned for the 100th anniversary of a local Dutch church organ, it is profoundly, aptly titled. Based on a quote by St. Peter in the New Testament, it is also conceptually tied to similarly-spirited associations of other major religions. Trio, scored for clarinet, violoncello and piano, was written in memoriam of Greve’s good friend’s late wife. It is an idiosyncratic, occasionally lyrical, sometimes wistful, sometimes mellow, sometimes cheerful piece of work, which ends with a terpsichorean final movement.
Magic Winter draws upon Scandinavian folklore and chronicles the harsh fate of a group of trolls trying to survive the grim Arctic winter. THE PALACE OF THE DREAMKING ends with a tribute to Francis Poulenc, Aria, a work scored for organ and trumpet. No direct musical citations are used; but the spirit of Poulenc lingers over this conclusion like a benevolent spirit.