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A Gate of Shining Horn

Horn player Ellen Dinwiddie Smith ventures into a world of dreaming as a featured instrument in Eleanor Alberga's Shining Gate of Morpheus for Horn and String Quartet.

From peaceful rest to unexpected dreamscapes, this unique piece offers a musical glimpse into the curious adventures of Morpheus, the ancient Greek god of dreams and sleep.

Eleanor Alberga explains: “It is said that false dreams enter through gates of ivory and true dreams through gates of shining horn. In Greek, the word for ‘ivory’ is like the word for ‘deceive’ and the word for horn is similar to that for ‘fulfil’; thus, the use of the horn as a musical instrument is significant.

Homer describes this through Penelope’s words in The Odyssey: ‘Two gates there are for unsubstantiated dreams, one made of horn and one of ivory. The dreams that pass through the carved ivory delude and bring us tales that turn to naught; those that come forth through the polished horn accomplish real things, whenever seen.’”

Sponsors

  • This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a Minnesota State Arts Board Operating Support grant, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.
    This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a Minnesota State Arts Board Operating Support grant, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.
  • Official Airline of the Minnesota Orchestra
    Official Airline of the Minnesota Orchestra