Serenade for Winds and Strings in D minor, Op. 44 - Dvořák - full version!

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Antonín Dvořák
Douglas Boyd, Gardner Chamber Orchestra
Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston

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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. 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. 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.


The work consists of four movements:

I. Moderato, quasi marcia
II. Minuetto. Tempo di minuetto
III. Andante con moto
IV. Finale. Allegro molto

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. The double bassoon part was attached ad lib, since in Dvořák's time it was not easy to obtain this unusual instrument.

In popular culture

An excerpt from the third movement is performed by a chamber ensemble in a scene from the film Iron Jawed Angels.
The text above is offered by courtesy of Wikipedia, under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.

Classical music piece performed by: Gardner Chamber Orchestra; Douglas Boyd, conductor
Licensed by: Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston
Music license: CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Portrait by courtesy of Bibliothèque nationale de France

Classical music piece ID: HDCM0716

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