Viola part from Serenade for String Orchestra, Op.37 by Gerald Manning

27 minutes
Classical music

My Serenade for String Orchestra, Op. 37 is an instrumental composition in four movements the form of which in the generic evolution of the genre is considered somewhere between a Suite and a Symphony. It is of a light and romantic nature, casual, and without too many overly dramatic moments, and concentrates on the form and formal structure of each of its four movements. The first movement Praeludium (from the Latin meaning �something played before�) is in binary form: a musical structure consisting of two parts or sections. Beginning in C major the first section as is common in binary form modulates to the related second section dominant key of G major, which is considerably longer than the first section because other related keys are explored before the return to the tonic key to give the work more interest: this second section is then repeated before the recapitulation gives closure to the first movement. From the Italian I have chosen the term Elegia for my second movement using the relative A minor of the principal key in the first movement. Renaissance, composers often wrote an elegy or déploration on the death of a colleague or teacher. In a series of variations related keys are explored before the return of A minor. In the third movement Scherzo (It,. �Joke� game�), the dark overtones of the preceding movement are lessened considerably with alternating rhythmic patterns and time signatures of 3/8 and 3/4. The final movement is a Rondeau using the spelling from the French quite intentionally as I wish to underline the juxtaposition between the single-stanza poem of four couplets as used by the poet-composers of troubadours and trouvères and at the same time writing this movement in one of the fundamental forms in music - rondo form. It can be represented as ABACA and was used in Classical instrumental works where it became typical for the last movement of a multi-movement work. It combines binary, ternary and rondo elements.

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