I'm still working with this piece. My instructor suggested using D major with drop D on six and adding bass notes. So I'm working on that.
I can hear this piece as a tremolo piece, but my skills are not there yet. However, I did find a performance that resembles classical guitar tremolo with Simonova Alexandra playing the Domra. The piece originally started out as a piano piece, then operatic (set to a poem by Pushkin) then in the 40s it was arranged with new lyrics and sung by Frank Sinatra and that lead to many recordings by famous vocalists, jazz groups, vocal groups, big bands and of course the complete de-evolution into Muzak.
Anton Rubinstein had a very interesting career. He was born in Russian and he was the Elder brother of Nikolai Rubinstein. Both children were recognized as musical prodigies at a young age. He was first taught piano by his mother, then at age ten Anton went to Paris with his piano instructor Alexander Villoing to apply to the Paris Conservatory but was unable to gain admittance.
The following year he went on tour with his brother Nikolai and they remained on tour for four years. After this he studied with Siegfried Dehn until his need to return to Russia due to his father’s illness. He continued studying with Dehn and also Adolf Marx. At age 17 he began seeking a patron but was unsuccessful. He continued to tour until 1848 when he returned to Russia due to the Revolution of 1848. Grand Duchess Elena Pavlov (the sister of Tsar Nicholas I) became his patroness during his five-year stay in St. Petersburgh. His career flourished. He wrote, conducted and performed continually. Anton founded the St. Petersburg Conservatory in 1862. In 1872-3, Steinway pianos sponsored Rubinstein’s US tour. He played 215 concerts in 239 days. Despite his displeasure at the hectic schedule by the end of the tour, his financial security was secured for the remainder of his career due to the compensation he received.
During his lifetime Rubinstein wrote 16 operas, six symphonies, five piano concertos, five piano concertos, several string quartets, three violin sonatas, two cello sonatas as well as being a prolific composer for the piano.
Romance was written in 1859 as part of “6 soirees a Saint Petersbourg.” Op. 44. Romance is No. 1. Rubinstein set the piece to “The Night” a poem by Alexander Pushkin, the following year. 1 The piece gained tremendous popularity as a vocal/operatic piece.
In 1942, Romance was arranged as “If You Are But a Dream” by Moe Jaffe, Jack Fulton and Nat Bonx and recorded by Frank Sinatra. This song was on the reverse side of Columbia’s 78 rpm release of “White Christmas” and therefore became well-known and recorded by many artists.
Recordings (Youtube with video ID)
Issac Stern – Violin
Diana Axentii - Mezzo Soprano (The Night.)
Simonova Alexandra – String instrument (with tremolo)
Michael Ponti - Piano
If You Are But A Dream:
Frank Sinatra - Vocals
Steve Kuhn Trio – Jazz
Monte Carlo Light Symphony Orchester- Muzak
My voice that is for you is tender and languid,
Disturbs late silence of dark night.
Close to my bed a melancholy candle
Burns. My verses flow merging and murmuring,
They flow. . . the brooks of love, that are full of you!
In the darkness your eyes shine before me,
They smile to me and I hear your words!
“My friend, my tender friend, I love you... I’m yours... I’m yours!”
2) “If You Are But A Dream.”
If you are but a dream
I hope I never waken
Its more than I could bear
To find that I’m forsaken
If youre a fantasy
Then I'm content to be
In love with lovely you
And pray my dream comes true
I long to kiss you
But I would not dare
Im so afraid
That you may vanish in the air
If our romance should break up
I hope, I never wake up
If you are but a dream
Saez Marin G90