Serenade for Winds
SMC SU793FS/ HL 252246
Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Alto Saxophone, Bassoon, 2 Horns, 2 Bb Trumpets, Trombone, Tuba, Double Bass
Serenade for Eleven Winds and Double Bass, op. 149 was commissioned by the University of Kansas School of Music to celebrate the re-opening of Swarthout Recital Hall in 2015, after renovations were completed for its 50th anniversary. The composer had contemplated writing a wind serenade for years, having long admired the wind works of Mozart and Richard Strauss. The music begins with a simple tune in flute, followed by entrances by other woodwinds, making a rather placid setting. This lyric, pastoral mood continues for some time before the work builds to the Allegro vivo. Here the oboe introduces a contrapuntal subject built on perfect fourths, answered by flute, then bassoon. Crisp statements by brass interrupt this free counterpoint that eventually evolves into a mad dash of linear development, employing octatonic melodies accompanied by polychordal textures. After several dramatic statements, the serenade rather abruptly returns to its original, pastoral mood, re-stating the melody first heard in oboe and eventually concluding with an almost inaudible, dry tutti chord.