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Topic: "Dorian's Decision"

  1. #1

    "Dorian's Decision"

    "Dorian's Decision"
    (click for MP3 - PDF vocal score link below)

    This number is the last before the Act One finale for "Dorian - The Remarkable Mister Gray," my dramatic musical based on "The Picture of Dorian Gray" by Oscar Wilde.

    It's a split-stage scene. Basil, the painter, is seen on one side of the stage in his studio, writing a letter to Dorian. Dorian is on the other side of the stage, reading the letter as the painter starts singing the text.

    Basil is asking for the loan of the portrait he did of Dorian. He needs it as the centerpiece of an important career-making or breaking exhibition.

    Dorian is immediately alarmed at the thought of anyone seeing his picture which seems to be changing into the image of a cruel and selfish older man.

    He replies by letter that the portrait has been destroyed.

    The incident makes Dorian finally realize that the picture is indeed changing while he himself remains young and innocent looking, and that he has his evil twin to thank for the gift of immortality.
    The first half of the number is a reprise of "Every Picture Painted," with interpolations of new passages for Dorian, and then on the song's chorus, Dorian sings a new counterpart to the original melody.

    Dorian has the stronger focus in the scene, with Basil essentially repeating what he has said/sung before about the importance to him of Dorian's portrait. Dorian's dawning realization about the picture is conveyed with his lyrics, as is the decision to hide the painting ever after.

    The score could be interesting for those who would like to see the counterpoint.

    Up until :55, the music switches back and forth between Basil's 3/4 melody and Dorian's 4/4 interaction with his painting.

    At :55 begins the true counterpoint. The French Horn is following Dorian's vocal line colla voce.

    1:40 - Dorian writes his decisive letter to Basil.

    1:57 - Celesta transition as his servant takes the letter, and Dorian slowly moves to face his haunted portrait.

    2:14 - A new section with Dorian rising to triumphant realization that he is immortal.

    2:41 - A reprise of "Dorian's Dilemma" as Dorian covers the monstrous painting, and sets his eyes on a future where he'll never die and can indulge in anything his imagination can conjur.

    At the end, Basil briefly joins in again, repeating words earlier said by Sibyl, "Dorian, don't leave me" - and saying that without the painting, he himself is now Blank.

    Randy B.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Leaf's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Dallas, TX

    Re: "Dorian's Decision"

    Thanks Randy, yes very interesting, i'll give it a read.

    You never cease to amaze, in addition to your fine writing of music you are no slouch when it comes to text. That synopsis you just gave is an example of some very good writing, maybe some of that Oscar Wilde is rubbing off onto you.


    edit: Ooops, I missed the mp3 link at top, listening to it now, lol, i was thinking "i guess he'll post the music recording later."

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Penfield (Rochester), NY

    Re: "Dorian's Decision"


    Always outstanding writing and execution. It is coming along very nicely. I have some knowledge of the Dorian story. But it is very interesting to get the blanks filled in gradually as the this progress here.



  4. #4
    Senior Member Leaf's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Dallas, TX

    Thumbs up Re: "Dorian's Decision"

    Wow it is absolutely FANTASTIC!!!

    edit: I can't stop listening, i have played it a dozen times at least.

  5. #5

    Re: "Dorian's Decision"

    Hi Randy

    Another chapter unleashed!

    I found this required several listens to get the sense of the story. I tried to follow the score but found that beyond my abilities.

    I sense this piece really requires the full dramatic situation to fully appreciate - there are complexities here, lots of time signature and chord changes, very interesting rhythms and musical textures.

    I was expecting something a little more dramatic to mark both Dorian's realisation of immortality as well as Basil's sense of dismay at the loss of the painting.

    It is certainly top notch writing in any case!


  6. #6

    Re: "Dorian's Decision"

    you never cease to amaze me bowser. and I hope you never do. You have such a nack for this "composing" thing. I really like this. Now my only questions is, for me to be clear, you wrote this for an art gallery??? Or you wrote this because you saw a painting at an art gallery and it inspired you??? Or did I read too much?

    I just noticed I wrote something like Leaf... lol
    Yours Truly,
    May the Fourth Be With You

    My demos:

  7. #7

    Re: "Dorian's Decision"

    Very imaginative writing, Brother Bowser. You musically paint some vivid pictures. I enjoy your work.

    Best regards,

    Larry G. Alexander

  8. #8

    Re: "Dorian's Decision"

    Hi Randy, this is amazing Excellent writing and fantastic recording. I must say I really enjoyed reading all the information that you put at the top of your post. It really helped knowing the story while listening to the music.

    Great work and good luck with the premier.

    You can listen to my latest piece here -

  9. #9

    Re: "Dorian's Decision"


    Great work once again, Randy!

    I'd like to echo the positive comments... particularly in the area of creativity.

    Your work always amazes me.. Never a dull moment!




  10. #10

    Re: "Dorian's Decision"

    oh my - I've really let the replies pile up!

    I am Always so pleased when people have taken a listen to a post and stop to type a reply. Thank you all. I've said it before, I'll say it again - it's great fun to be sharing all this "Dorian" music with the Garritan Gang here.

    David "Leaf" - hehe--two replies! Glad you finally found the MP3 link! I used to bury them after text, but decided to take pity on people who don't care about doing a lot of reading, and so I'm posting links closer to the top now. I'll use a bigger font next time maybe!

    Thanks for enjoying the little synopsis I posted. I edited and edited, trying to keep it as brief as possible. Glad it's well received by you and is helpful.

    And then - a dozen playbacks! Wow - Glad you like it so much!

    Gary - Glad you're enjoying the slowly unfolding drama too. This is a relatively faithful adaptation of the book, and even people who know the story can be hazy on the plot's details. Glad you're enjoying this slow motion unveiling!

    HI Tuba - Thanks for letting me know how much you like the music - I'm not sure I understand your questions though. This is my latest posting from my stage musical "Dorian" which is based on Oscar Wilde's famous novel, "The Picture of Dorian Gray." Since around January of this year, I've been slowly but surely working my way through the show's numbers, posting them one at a time. So, the inspiration was the novel, and the project was to adapt the entire thing for stage - which I've done, and now the first production is coming up next year, April 2008!

    Thank you Brother Larry (did I ever tell you my flesh and blood brother's name is Larry?!?) - I'm always pleased to know you've tuned in. Thanks much for the kind words!

    Kev - Glad the text helped you along also. Thanks for the great reply.

    Jeff, it's wonderful to have you as such a loyal "Dorian" supporter - Thank you my friend.

    Alan - I appreciate you giving this one a try. I knew ahead of time that it was potentially the most difficult "Dorian" post yet to frame properly with my text intro, and that it wouldn't necessarily have the impact it does in conjunction with the full show.

    Most of the numbers in the show are actually scenes set to music - thus the constant ebb and flow of themes, the constant changes, the always unfolding quality. But this one, with the counterpoint, the split-stage--It's just as you said, that it "...really requires the full dramatic situation to fully appreciate..." I believe you're right. The score for this scene iis difficult, with all its key changes and time sig changes, and if it's too confusing to figure out--of course that doesn't help much either.

    In context, those quasi-pop-Wagnerian segments at :55, 2:14 and 2:41 I feel will dramatically support the characters' transitions, and the singers in context of the scene. I rather pulled out all the stops, and though it may not be clear from hearing it this way, I'm confident we'll have the needed dramatic effect in the production.

    I just wish I had a better way to present it to you so you could get a more direct emotional response from it - impossible without singers, the script, the lyrics, the staging. Ah well. I wish it could've gotten across to you more clearly, but I certainly appreciate you trying to grok it.

    Thank you Very much!

    Randy B.

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