The Last Dream of the Old Oak, by the Musique des Gardiens de la Paix
The Danish author and poet Hans Christian Andersen (1805–1875) is known as one of the world’s most famous writers of fairy tales. One key to his popularity is his blend of gentle humor, bitter irony and fantasy. Too often his fairy tales were perceived as children’s entertainment only, but he was building his stories on some deeper philosophical considerations. His timeless fairy tales have been translated into more than eighty languages. They continue to inspire numerous writers, directors, choreographers, sculptors, painters and composers.
The Last Dream of the Old Oak is based on the eponymous fairy tale by Andersen. His emotionally descriptive music tells us the story of a very old oak tree. Maxime Aulio’s art of associating different tone colors and atmospheres allows our imagination to meander freely.
It was exactly three hundred and sixty-five years old. Many a warm summer day it talked with the mayflies that danced around its crown. Soon it would be sleeping time, for winter was coming. And there stood the oak, stripped of all its leaves, left to rest during the whole of a long winter, and to dream many dreams of events that had happened in its life. Then it seemed that a new and stronger current of life flowed through the oak, down into its smallest roots, up into its highest twigs, even out into the leaves. It was a blessed moment, so full of joy when suddenly it felt its very roots loosening themselves from the earth. Such was the dream of the old oak: and while it dreamed, a mighty storm was sweeping over land and sea. The tree cracked, groaned, and was torn up by the roots. At the very moment when it was dreaming that its roots were freeing themselves from the earth, it fell.
The Last Dream of the Old Oak was commissioned by the Communauté de Communes de Vinay (France) for the opening of its Nut Museum. The work was premiered under the ephemeral title The Last Dream of the Walnut Tree (Le Dernier Rêve du Noyer), but the story behind the music was truly Andersen’s fairy tale about the old oak.
- 01. The Three Musketeers: D'Artagnan 1:40
- 02. The Three Musketeers: Constance Bonacieux 1:41
- 03. The Three Musketeers: Milady 1:17
- 01. The Biberry Fairy and the Chamois 1:39
- 02. The Magic Stick 1:05
- 03. The Lady from Val de Fier 1:17
- 04. The Legend of Duvallon 0:59
- 08. The Last Dream of the Old Oak 2:40
The Last Dream of the Old Oak, by Musikkapelle Villnöss
Conductor: Hans Pircher, Osterkonzert 2018