Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Serenade Eine Kleine Nachtmusik KV 525 [16’]
II. Romance: Andante
III. Menuetto: Allegretto
IV. Rondo: Allegro
Antonín Dvořák Serenade for Strings in E major, Op. 22 [27’]
II. Tempo di valse
III. Scherzo: Vivace
V. Finale: Allegro vivace
Not every serenade has to evoke an image of a wooer singing to his beloved one, a guitar or a mandolin in his hand. Even though Mozart’s Don Giovanni does perform a song like that, the more famous of the composer’s serenades is Eine Kleine Nachtmusik for string orchestra. In Vienna of the olden days, the term used to describe pleasant, light compositions (Mozart’s piece was called “A Little Night Music” for a reason) comprising several movements and performed by small ensembles, often in the open air. On some occasions, they were meant to celebrate important figures, but sometimes (why not!) they were performed to please a beloved person. Mozart’s composition is structured as if it were a miniature symphony: the first movement and the final one are fast-paced. Between them, we hear the lyrical Romanze and the lively Menuetto.
Whereas the most famous part of Eine Kleine Nachtmusik is undoubtedly the first movement, in the case of Antonin Dvořák’s Serenade it is definitely the second. The Czech composer was a true master of exquisite melodies in dance rhythms, as exemplified by the beautiful waltz in question. Still, there is much more to the Serenade: the playful, energetic Scherzo, the soothing, song-like Larghetto, and the surprisingly dramatic opening to the Finale, which then unfolds like a masterful thrilling short piece in its own right.
Dominika Micał, “Ruch Muzyczny”