Page:A Dictionary of Music and Musicians vol 3.djvu/480
��fitting evening, though not actually so performed. We must not omit mention of Stradella's Sere- nata; in which two lovers, each with his orchestra in a coach, serenade a lady, a work which Handel honoured by borrowing from it [For this see STRADELLA.]
Quite distinct from Compositions of this class is the Instrumental Serenata, the form of which is much more clearly defined, and comprised within much narrower limits. This now neg- lected, and almost obsolete Art-form, was a very popular one during the latter half of the 1 8th century; and, for some considerable time, occu- pied a position midway between those of the Orchestral Suite which preceded, and the Sym- phony which followed it. From the former it borrowed the multiplicity, and from the latter the colouring, of the long series of lightly- developed Movements of which it usually con- sisted. Neither the sequence nor the structure of these Movements was subject to any very rigid law. Two forms, however, were considered so necessary that they may almost be described as indispensable the March, and the Minuet. With the former, almost every Serenata of any conse- quence began, or ended. The latter was almost always interposed between two Allegros, or an Allegro and an Andante, or, indeed, between any two Movements of any other kind; and used so freely, that it frequently made its appear- ance, several times, in the course of a Composi- tion of importance. The Gavotte, and Bourre'e, BO freely used in the older Suite, were completely banished from the Serenata. The Instruments employed were Violins, Violas, Violoncellos, Double-basses, Flutes, Oboes, Bassoons, Horns, Trumpets, and Drums : rarely Clarinets, for, when the Serenata was at its best, the Clarinet was not much used, in ordinary Orchestras. Mozart, however, has used both Clarinets and Corni di Bassetto in Serenatas written for Wind Instruments alone, or Wind Instruments sup- ported only by a Double-bass. When Wind Instruments alone were employed, the Compo- sition was often called 'Harmoniemusik'; and this term was so generally received, that Music for Wind Instruments is popularly called ' Har- mony,' in Germany, to the present day. The term Cassation was also frequently applied to works of this kind, whether written for the full Orchestra or for Wind Instruments alone ; and many pieces, not differing very much from these, were called Divertimenti. Sometimes the number of Instruments employed was very small. Bee- thoven has written a Serenata, of some length (Op. 25) for Flute, Violin, and Viola, only; and another very complete one (Op. 8), for Violin, Viola, and Violoncello. The reason for this diversity of Instruments is obvious. The Sere- nata was almost always intended for private performance. It was, therefore, a matter of necessity that it should accommodate itself to the resources of the particular establishment for which it was intended.
The form of the Serenade varied, within certain limits, almost as much as its Instrumentation.
Mozart has left us eleven examples Nos. 100, 1 01, 185, 203, 204, 239, 250, 320, 361, 375, and 388, in Kochel's Catalogue. Some of these con- tain as many as eight distinct Movements. Of the introductory March, and the indispensable Minuet, we have already spoken. In addition to these, there are generally two principal Alle- gros, or an Allegro and a Rondo, or Presto, like those of a Symphony ; and two Andantes, each preceded and followed by a Minuet. The Minuets are constantly varied with two or more Trios, each for different combinations of Instru- ments. In No. 185 there are two lovely An- dantes ; one with Oboe and Horn, obbliyato ; the other for Stringed Instruments and Flutes. In other Movements, Solo Violins are employed, with admirable effect. No. 239 is written for a double Orchestra, consisting of Stringed Instru- ments only including two Solo Violins and Drums ; and the effect t f this combination is singularly happy. One striking peculiarity of the Serenata is, that, unlike the Symphony, it does not, as a general rule, employ the entire Orchestra in every Movement. This arrange- ment adds greatly to its effects of light and shade ; as, for instance, when the whole body of Instruments is made to unite, in the Coda of a Minuet, to the earlier portions of which an indi- viduality of colouring has been imparted by the employment of new and varied combinations contrasted together in each of the several Trios.
The prominent features of the Serenata are, one and all, so strikingly exemplified in the writings of Mozart, that we can recommend no- more interesting or instructive models than these for the student's guidance. Haydn also wrote Serenatas, but seems to have taken less kindly to the style than Mozart probably from the deeper love he naturally felt for the Symphony of his own creation. That Schubert should have left the style untried is more surprising ; unless, indeed, we have to deplore the loss of any works of the kind among his perished MSS. From the pen of Beethoven, we possess only the two ex- amples already cited. That written for Violin, Viola, and Violoncello, commonly known as the 4 Serenade Trio' (Op. 8), is a delicious inspiration, in D major, consisting of a spirited March, an Adagio, a Minuet, a second Adagio, a Scherzo r with which the Adagio is thrice alternated, a Polacca, a Thema con Variazioni, and a repetition of the opening March, by way of Finale. The second example (Op. 25), written in the same key, for Flute, Violins, and Violas, contains an Entrata, a Minuet, with two Trios, an Allegro molto, an Andante con Variazioni, an Allegro scherzando e vivace, an Adagio, and an Allegro vivace.
Haydn's comparative neglect of the Serenata foreshadowed, only too plainly, the treatment it was afterwards destined to meet with at the hands of the musical world in general. The more perfect development of the Symphony put an end to the desire for its cultivation ; the gradual diminution in the number of private Orchestras, to the necessity for its production : and this, so-