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Blue Work

Dreams, Yellow Lions

for baritone and chamber ensemble

Year:  1987   ·  Duration:  20m
Instrumentation:  violin, violoncello, soprano saxophone, flugelhorn and bass clarinet

Year:  1987
Duration:  20m
Instrumentation  violin, violoncello, sopran...

Ross Harris

Composer:   Ross Harris

Films, Audio & Samples

Sample Audio

Sample: 0:00 - 1:00 from The Australian Girl

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Sample Score

Sample: Page 1

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To borrow or hire parts please email SOUNZ directly at Please note that only library members in New Zealand and Australia can borrow or hire parts.


Commissioned for the opening of the new National Library building in 1987, this work was the centre piece in a concert of New Zealand music which inaugurated the Library's auditorium. Harris chose Alistair Campbell's poetry as he has always enjoyed its vernacular quality. Included in the ensemble are some of Harris' favourite instruments: soprano saxophone, bass clarinet and flugelhorn. Harris views this work almost as a kind of unstaged melodrama. As with his To the Memory of I.S. Totzka (2000), Dreams Yellow Lions was written in a period between work on his operas and acts as a substitute for the larger compositional form. Short instrumental interludes link the songs through various emotional states. "It's all about memories and I always imagine an old man thinking about his younger days, dreaming away, getting old and becoming sick".

Commissioned note

Commissioned for the opening of the National Library Building in 1985

Contents note

This work is almost a monodrama, as the poems and music form a connected sequence states of mind.

Text note

Text by Alistair Campbell

Performance history

05 Aug 1987: Performed by David Griffiths (baritone), Richard Panting (violin), Josephine Young (cello), Deborah Rawson (soprano saxophone), David Armstrong (flugelhorn) and June Byng (bass clarinet); conducted by Ross Harris.