Serenade for Wind Instruments (Dvořák)

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Serenade for wind instruments, cello and double-bass in D minor (Czech: Serenáda pro dechové nástroje d moll), Op. 44, B. 77, is a chamber composition by the Czech composer Antonín Dvořák. The work is dedicated to composer and music critic Louis Ehlert who highly credited the Slavonic Dances in the German press.

It was created in 1878, shortly after the première of the opera The Cunning Peasant, alongside 15 other compositions for the Austrian State Stipendium. The work was premiered on 17 November 1878 at a concert featuring exclusively Dvořák's works, with the Prague orchestra of the Provisional Theatre (Czech: Prozatímní). The composition was performed under the composer's baton.

The Serenade evokes the old-world atmosphere of the musical performances on the castles of the Rococo period, where the worlds of the aristocracy and the common folk merged.[1] It is composed in a "Slavonic style" (shortly before the Slavonic Dances), and the middle part of the second movement contains rhythms reminiscent of the furiant dance form.[2]

Structure[edit]

The work consists of four movements:

The Serenade is written for two oboes, two clarinets, two bassoons and for three horns. The composer later added parts for cello and double bass to enhance the force of the bass line.[2] The double bassoon part was attached ad lib, since in Dvořák's time it was not easy to obtain this unusual instrument.[2]

In popular culture[edit]

An excerpt from the third movement is performed by a chamber ensemble in a scene from the film Iron Jawed Angels.

Selected recordings[edit]

  • Dvořák: Serenades in E major and in D minor. Supraphon (SU 3776-2 011)[1]. (Performed by the Czech Philharmonic Wind Ensemble)

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ Burghauser, p. 37-38
  2. ^ a b c sleevenote of the CD (SU 3776-2 011), p. 6

References[edit]

  • Jarmil Burghauser: Antonín Dvořák. Prague: Koniasch Latin Press, 2006. ISBN 80-86791-26-2

External links[edit]