Dvorak's Serenade for Winds, Op. 44 - Today's Free Download from Ensemble Monterey
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Dear ensemble Monterey Friends - Today's download comes from a concert we performed in 2004. It's Dvorak's Serenade for Winds Op. 44. Although it is called as a serenade for wind instruments it also includes important parts for cello and double bass. Dvorak composed this piece in 1878 and included it with several others that he submitted to the Czech government for a stipend to support further composition. (Gone are those days)! The "serenade" form comes from the classical era (think Mozart and Beethoven) and implies lighter music for entertainment purposes. The vast majority of serenades written during that time are long-forgotten, but many of the great classical era composers made the fatal mistake of writing them too well! Mozart considered Eine Kleine Nachtmusik, for example, as a total toss-off composition. He told his Father that the best stuff he wrote earned very little, but the worst stuff (Kleine Nachmusik included) was wildly popular. By the time we get to the great Czech composer Dvorak, the serenade is a well established vehicle for serious if sometimes lighthearted composition.
Many of you are probably familiar with Dvorak's Serenade for Strings, but perhaps you don't know his wind version. It's 4 movements are reminiscent of Czech folk and dance music without being direct quotes. The forth movement is a furiant. the name tells you everything you need to know.
Did you know that Dvorak was the first great European composer to travel to the United States. He came to visit relatives in Spillville, Iowa (population 367) in 1893. He later moved to New York to direct the National Conservatory and wrote the "New World Symphony" while there.
Until Wednesday - Yours in Music - John Anderson