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In The Land of Wonder-Wander attempts to capture the essence of both Maxfield Parrish’s illustration and Eugene Fields’ poem The Dinkey-Bird. Both the painting and the poem create the feeling of a magical place where beauty, joy and pleasure abound. It is a mysterious place, perhaps as occurring in a dream, yet a place where one does not wish to leave. In The Land of Wonder-Wander begins quietly with vague tonality and sparse instrumentation as it transports the listener into this mystical land. As the tempo becomes stricter and the instrumentation fuller, the beauty of this place is apparent. A change to a triple meter and a faster tempo creates a joyous and wondrous section as there are many sweet treats growing to satisfy the soul. Children scampering and playing are represented by an allegro section with playful melodies and slight dissonance. The Dinkey Bird becomes the focus of the next section, which uses a staccato motif surrounded by rapid scales and arpeggios. These ideas build in intensity, expressing the wonder and beauty of this far away land, until they begin to fade away as the land recedes into the sea. A last flourish occurs as if one is trying to hold on to the experience before one wakes up from this marvelous dream. This work is recorded by Laura Koepele-Tenges, Christie Vohs, Megan Lauterbach, and John Elmquist on the Emeritus label.
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