The piece is simply a reflection on happenings in Vienna, not long before 'Kristallnacht' – the first of the dreadful 9/11 crimes (9th November 1938). Virtually throughout, the lower string instruments represent the oppressors, and the upper the victims. There are 3 sections, as in a triptych. In the first, one might imagine the oppressors strutting and swaggering, in a jerky mock-waltz, and then chasing the victims, i.e. the violins, around the streets, as described to the four-year-old Anthony by Daisy Koppmann, the young Viennese refugee who came to live with the Gilbert family in 1938.
In the central section the metaphorical victims, i.e. violins, try to quell their fears with musical entertainments and dancing. In the final section they are, initially luringly, then more violently, led away. One hears cries of fear from the upper strings, and a final blunt ending from the double bass, but not before the upper strings utter a cry of hope.
The title 'Carousel' represents the pursuing round and round the streets, and also the Jews' attempt to supress fear by amusement (dancing in circles); 'Dream' represents the nightmares the composer suffered for years after hearing Daisy's account. Also, it's 'Another dream' because in Spain, Franco's muddling struggle to encircle the republicans, communists and anarchists was, by 1938, a Fascist dream about to come true. There are, too, earlier Dream Carousels by the same composer. This one was commissioned by the Ida Carroll Trust for the Northern Chamber Orchestra, and first performed by them at the Lowry, Salford Quays, November 2000.
Recorded on ASC CS CD45.