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Edward Gregson

Publisher: Novello & Co

Serenata Notturna (2004)
Work Notes
A reworking of 'Serenata Notturna' for violin and piano (1998)
Publisher
Novello & Co Ltd
Category
Works for 2-6 Players
Year Composed
2004
Duration
7 Minutes
Orchestration
Availability


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Programme Note
Edward Gregson Serenata Notturna (2004)
The original version of Serenata Notturna for violin and piano was written in 1998 to a private commission. It received its first public performance with Helena Smart (violin) and Caroline Jaya-Ratnam (piano) at the String Final of BBC Young Musicians 2000 in Manchester.

As the title suggests, the piece evokes the atmosphere of night music. Following a reflective opening where the pitch material outlines a twelve-note series, the music becomes more agitated, developing into a quasi danse macabre, which eventually reaches a powerful climax. The music then subsides into a more tranquil atmosphere, where the previous dissonant material transforms itself into a simple diatonic melody (‘like a lullaby’), the basic outline of which has already been present in the music from the beginning. Thus the dark turmoil of the first part of the work becomes transfigured – hence the quotation at the beginning of the score: out of darkness cometh light.

After finishing the Serenata, a substantial part of the same music became an outline sketch for the slow movement of a Violin Concerto that I had just started to compose. The concerto was premiered by Lyn Fletcher and the Hallé Orchestra, conducted by Kent Nagano, at the Bridgewater Hall, Manchester, in February 2000. It has since been recorded on the Chandos label by Olivier Charlier, with the BBC Philharmonic conducted by Martyn Brabbins.

Edward Gregson, 2017

Performances
Date
Title
  • 06 MAY 2004
    Serenata Notturna World Premiere
    Manchester International Cello Festival
    RNCM, Manchester
    Victoria Simonsen (cello) Benjamin Frith (piano)

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