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Danny Elfman

Publisher: AMP

Serenada Schizophrana (2005)
Associated Music Publishers Inc
Sub Category
Large Orchestra
Year Composed
42 Minutes
small female chorus in mvt. 5
Purchase CD
Programme Note
Danny Elfman Serenada Schizophrana (2005)
Composer note:
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Serenada Schizophrana is a completely new experience for me. Except for my early music/theater work, I’ve always had visuals to drive my orchestral music. Beginning was quite daunting. I began composing several dozen short, freeform compositions, none of them related. Some of them began to develop themselves until I had six separate movements that, in some abstract, absurd way, felt connected. I let myself wander into a musical stream of consciousness which, with the way my brain works, is not necessarily a very smooth ride.

Many of my musical influences come from mid-century film composers such as Bernard Herrmann, Nino Rota, and Alex North. In terms of classical music, I was hugely influenced by Prokofiev, Stravinsky, Orff, and Bartók. Early Duke Ellington also had a major role. I consider myself to be a musical throwback. With the exception of a few more recent influences like Harry Partch and Philip Glass, I am forever attached to the music of the early 20th century when, for me, orchestral music flourished alongside the creation of jazz in a unique and remarkable way. I suppose this piece mixes up all my influences in a kind of musical "gumbo." I hope it’s interesting and perhaps even entertaining.

— Danny Elfman

  1. Pianos
  2. Blue Strings
  3. A Brass Thing
  4. Quadruped Patrol
  5. I Forget
  6. Bells and Whistles
  7. End Tag

  • Conductor
    John Mauceri
    Sony Classical:
  • G. Schirmer / AMP:
"Anyone who doubts that the future of classical music is safe in the hands of today's movie composers will have their prejudices shaken by Danny Elfman's first-ever concert piece, Serenada Schizophrana. This riveting and richly coloured six-movement orchestral work features in the IMAX film Deep Sea 3D and takes in jazz, minimalism and the Golden Age of Steiner to otherworldly effects."
Anna Britten, Classical FM,01/04/2007
Danny Elfman's Serenada music that works. With six movements, rolling piano solos...and the charming hoots and chirps of eight female voices..., Mr. Elfman gave us music comfortable in its own world and highly professional in its execution. Hollywood, you say. Better good Hollywood music than second-rate Brahms. The composer of this piece has an ear for symphonic colors and how to balance them.

The American Composers Orchestra and its conductor Steven Sloane seemed to sense the quality. Serenada Schizophrana was more smoothly and tightly played than anything else on the program. It was a big and unusual kind of audience for a symphony event: the young and the near young were everywhere one looked...

Bernard Holland, The New York Times,01/01/0001
On Feb. 23 at Carnegie Hall...Film composer Danny Elfman’s first orchestral work for the concert stage, Serenada Schizophrana, was the evening’s biggest event...In keeping with the piece’s title, the music veered madly from Ellingtonian whimsy to Bernard Herrmannesque agitation...The tortured swing of the third movement conjured up the image of a jazz band on a storm-tossed raft, with trash-can cymbals acting as the crashing waves. And the furious horn-stoked climax and surprising last-second resolution of the closing movement made for a rousing finish.
Mac Randall, New York Observer,01/01/0001
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