Romantic Serenades for Strings

Romantic Serenades for Strings
Composer Antonín Dvorák, Edward Elgar, Edvard Hagerup Grieg
Artist Various artists
Format 5 CD
Cat. number 95655
EAN code 5028421956558
Release March 2018

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About this release

A generous and unique compilation of Romantic music for string orchestra, featuring both delightful rarities and renowned masterpieces of the genre.

The term serenade originally signified a musical greeting, usually performed out of doors in the evening, to a beloved or a person of importance. Thus the qualities of affection and lightheartedness were established early in the history of the serenade, and they continued to be respected and exploited throughout the Romantic era.

The outdoor serenade was naturally better suited to wind-instruments, with their greater volume and carrying power, but astring band was more appropriate for tender and amorous expressions. Alone of the Romantics, Dvořák composed an example of each, and his Serenade for Strings is notably more relaxed and longer-limbed. However, the high watermark for the string serenade in the late 19th century was set by Tchaikovsky, with a masterpiece that recalls the example of his beloved Mozart.

With his neoclassical Holberg Suite, Grieg looked back further still, to the world of Baroque dances. Some of the most rewarding but least-known music in the box is also Scandinavian in origin: the two symphonically scaled Novelettes of Niels Gade. Yet more heartfelt is the early Serenade by Josef Suk, and this work from 1892 set the tone for the more impassioned works for string orchestra which would be written, still in a broadly Romantic vein, during the first half of the last century. They include the profound access to an earlier age evoked by Ralph Vaughan Williams in his Fantasia on a Theme of Thomas Tallis, the sombre Trauermusik which Paul Hindemith composed overnight to mark the passing of King George V in 1936, and the darkly coloured, concerto-grosso-style Divertimento of Bartók from three years later. With their greater melodic generosity and cinematic sweep, the works by Ghedini and Rota bring the genre of serenade full circle, back to a world of straightforwardly appealing expression.

This 5-CD set contains one of the most extensive selections of Serenades for String Orchestra, a warm bath of lush, vibrant and soothing music, utterly romantic, atmospheric and beguiling, like the buzzing of a summer afternoon.
Included are the famous string serenades by Tchaikovsky and Dvořák, but also lesser known serenades by Suk, Kalinnikov, Gade, Janáček, Grieg, Elgar, Vaughan-Williams, Hindemith, Ghedini, Rota and Bartók.
The booklet contains descriptions of each work in English.

Track list

Disk 1

  1. Serenade for Strings in C Major, Op. 48: I. Pezzo in forma di sonatina. Andante non troppo – Allegro moderato
  2. Serenade for Strings in C Major, Op. 48: II. Valse. Moderato
  3. Serenade for Strings in C Major, Op. 48: III. Elégie. Larghetto elegiac
  4. Serenade for Strings in C Major, Op. 48: IV. Finale. Andante. Allegro con spirit
  5. Serenade for Strings in E Major, Op. 22: I. Moderato
  6. Serenade for Strings in E Major, Op. 22: II. Tempo di valse
  7. Serenade for Strings in E Major, Op. 22: III. Scherzo. Vivace
  8. Serenade for Strings in E Major, Op. 22: IV. Larghetto
  9. Serenade for Strings in E Major, Op. 22: V. Finale. Allegro vivace

Disk 2

  1. Serenade for Strings in G Minor: I. Andantino
  2. Idyll for string Orchestra: I. Andante
  3. Idyll for string Orchestra: II. Allegro
  4. Idyll for string Orchestra: III. Moderato
  5. Idyll for string Orchestra: IV. Allegro
  6. Idyll for string Orchestra: V. Adagio
  7. Idyll for string Orchestra: VI. Scherzo
  8. Idyll for string Orchestra: VII. Moderato
  9. Serenade for String Orchestra, Op. 20: I. Allegro piacevole
  10. Serenade for String Orchestra, Op. 20: II. Larghetto
  11. Serenade for String Orchestra, Op. 20: III. Allegretto

Disk 3

  1. Novellette No. 1 in F Major, Op. 53: I. Andantino – Allegro vivace e grazioso
  2. Novellette No. 1 in F Major, Op. 53: II. Scherzo. Moderato
  3. Novellette No. 1 in F Major, Op. 53: III. Andantino con moto
  4. Novellette No. 1 in F Major, Op. 53: IV. Allegro vivace
  5. Novellette No. 2 in E Major, Op. 58: I. Andante – Allegro ma non troppo
  6. Novellette No. 2 in E Major, Op. 58: II. Intermezzo. Allegro moderato
  7. Novellette No. 2 in E Major, Op. 58: III. Andante espressivo
  8. Novellette No. 2 in E Major, Op. 58: IV. Finale. Allegro con brio

Disk 4

  1. Divertimento, Sz. 113: I. Allegro non troppo
  2. Divertimento, Sz. 113: II. Molto adagio
  3. Divertimento, Sz. 113: III. Allegro assai
  4. Concerto for Violin and Strings “il belprato”: I. Allegro moderato e spiritoso
  5. Concerto for Violin and Strings “il belprato”: II. Andante fiorito
  6. Concerto for Violin and Strings “il belprato”: III. Rondò. Vivace con brio
  7. Concerto for Violin and Strings “il belprato”: IV. Molto adagio
  8. Concerto for Violin and Strings “il belprato”: V. Quasi presto
  9. Concerto for Strings: I. Preludio. Allegro ben moderato e cantabile
  10. Concerto for Strings: II. Scherzo. Allegretto comodo
  11. Concerto for Strings: III. Aria. Andante quasi adagio
  12. Concerto for Strings: IV. Finale. Allegrissimo
  13. Trauermusik: I. Langsam
  14. Trauermusik: II. Ruhig bewegt
  15. Trauermusik: III. Lebhaft
  16. Trauermusik: IV. Choral. Vor deinen Thron tret ich hiermit

Disk 5

  1. Serenade in E-Flat Major, Op. 6: I. Andante con moto
  2. Serenade in E-Flat Major, Op. 6: II. Allegro ma non troppo
  3. Serenade in E-Flat Major, Op. 6: III. Adagio
  4. Serenade in E-Flat Major, Op. 6: IV. Allegro giocoso
  5. Holberg Suite, Op. 40: I. Praeludium. Allegro vivace
  6. Holberg Suite, Op. 40: II. Sarabande. Andante
  7. Holberg Suite, Op. 40: III. Gavotte. Allegretto – Musette. Poco pìu mosso
  8. Holberg Suite, Op. 40: IV. Air. Andante religioso
  9. Holberg Suite, Op. 40: V. Rigaudon. Allegro con brio-Poco meno mosso
  10. Fantasia on a Theme of Thomas Tallis
  11. Fantasia on Greensleeves