Serenata No. 3

Noche Oscura / Dark Night

Large Ensemble (2011)
Flute, Clarinet, Guitar, Marimba, Violin I & II, Cello, Piano

I. Largo – Vivo
II. Allegro ma non troppo
III. Remember. Andante non troppo
IV. Meditation. Tranquillo

Score Sample

Duration: c. 17 minutes

If the character of on my first two serenades was mild and gentle, my Serenade No. 3 explores a darker side of the night. It lends itself to images which I describe below, although it is not intended as a piece of program music: The shape of the four movements is much like the showers that are so often in the highlands: A sudden, violent burst of thunder and rain, followed by its gradual decline to tranquility. So the first two movements, played without pause, reflect the principle of the storm, with the energy level down to the last movement. “Remember” (remember) is the title of the third movement. It comes from a tune composed for the banjo (an instrument that I play for nostalgia rather than the need to show off my feeble talent), presented here by the violin. Its shape is simple. In the fourth movement, titled “Meditation”, a pair of phrases are repeated in the piano throughout the movement, but the duration between them increases very gradually, making room for more interaction between the other instruments of the ensemble.