Der Traum Des Oenghus

From Wind Repertory Project
Rolf Rudin

Rolf Rudin

This work is often found under its title in English, The Dream of Oenghus. It bears the designation Opus 37.

General Info

Year: 1993/94, 1996
Duration: c. 21:00
Difficulty: V (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: edition flor
Cost: Score and Parts - Contact Rolf Rudin


1. Part One - 7:00
2. Part Two - 14:00


C Piccolo
Flute I-II
Bassoon I-II
E-flat Soprano Clarinet
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
B-flat Bass Clarinet
E-flat Alto Saxophone I-II
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
B-flat Cornet I-II
B-flat Trumpet I-II-III
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II-III
Euphonium I-II
String Bass
Percussion, including:

  • Crash Cymbals
  • Bells
  • Chimes
  • Gong
  • Suspended Cymbal
  • Tam-Tam
  • Vibraphone


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

The musical poem The Dream of Oenghus refers to the Irish legend of the same name which was edited by Frederik Hetmann in his collection Irish Magic Garden - Fairy Tales, Legends and Stories from Ireland. The collection was published by the Eugen Diederichs Verlag. In this legend Prince Oenghus has a nightly vision when fast asleep: He sees a girl who plays a flute and falls in love with her. However, as she keeps disappearing she remains unattainable for him for the time being. He consequently sets out to search for her until he finally finds the girl. This piece is no musical retelling of this legend. In a way it rather invites reading the story, as there are only single phases and atmospheres of the legend serving as extra-musical sources of imagination.

The composition is conceived in a large two-part form. The first part was composed in 1993/94 and commissioned by the Confederation of German Band and Folk Music Associations as a Grade 3/4 test piece and consequently selected for the competitions that took place during the 2nd German Federal Festival of Music in Münster/Westfalia.

The music of the first part largely converts the vision into sound patterns which is described at the beginning of the legend. It was the atmosphere of something dreamlike or also something unattainable that became the inspiration for writing the music of a tenderly somber world of dreams: Noise sounds of the beginning, bell-like motifs and a vacillating sound stratum hovering in itself bestow upon this composition its mysteriously nocturnal character. Following it -- through several repetitions of a mysterious chant in continuously increasing instrumentation and dynamics -- an arc which apparently does not end is created that is able to symbolize the quest for the girl in terms of length of space and time like in a dreamlike premonition.

Without having read the legend again for some two years, the second larger part of the musical poem was written in 1996 for the State Wind Orchestra of Baden-Württemberg. It examines the more “real” aspects of the legend. At its beginning already the second part of this composition makes associations -- expressed by its ferocity -- to the prince's “aberrations” in his quest for the girl. This, as we know, was shown in the first part in a visionary and idealistically transfigured way. This also applies to the importance of the flute which was alluded to only towards the end of the first part, whereas here it is given ample room for development: A large cantilena full of enigmatic expression floats above an harmonic carpet which links the visions of nightly tranquility of the first part. A constantly repeated rhythmical increase of march-like character climaxes in picking up the “mysterious chant” of the first part. In that way it leads to formal unity of the complete work in an evident way. The atmosphere of apotheosis of the final coda makes the relieving B-flat major disappear in the visionary noise sounds of the beginning and dismisses the audience in a peaceful “legendary” atmosphere.

- Program Note by composer


State Ratings

  • Arkansas: IV
  • Texas: III (mvt. 4)
  • Texas: IV. Complete
  • Virginia: V


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

Works for Winds by This Composer


  • Miles, Richard B. 2000. Teaching Music Through Performance in Band. Volume 3. Chicago: GIA Publications. pp. 316-321.
  • Rolf Rudin website
  • Rudin, R. (1993/4). Der Traum des Oenghus / 1, Teil 1 : op. 37/1; (1996). Edition Flor: Erlensee.
  • Rudin, R. (1996). Der Traum des Oenghus / 2, Teil 2 : op. 37/2; (1996). Edition Flor: Erlensee.