- This performance of British composer Sir Edward Elgar’s (1857-1934) String Serenade in e minor features the string section of the Concertgebouw Chamber Orchestra playing some of the most celebrated string music of all time.
- I really enjoy watching string players as they pull the bow across the strings and their instrument becomes an extension of their bodies. Like watching a fine dancer, you can see their passion for the music flow through them and into the instruments.
- I also love how the string section makes such a homogenous sound. You don’t always know when it is viola vs. cello when you are just hearing a performance, but as you watch this video you will be able to see where the music is coming from at any given moment.
The important thing to note about Elgar’s Serenade in e minor, is that he wrote this music as a gift to his wife on their 3rd anniversary. Listening here, I tried to imagine him remembering the different stages of their relationship and his deep feelings for his wife.
- I am surprised by the fact that even though this is written in a minor key and much of the music is very slow, it is still filled with the positive feelings of intimacy, yearning and sentimental love.
- It begins with music that seems like it was already flowing with a very carefree and playful quality as soon as we arrive. This then leads into the 2nd movement which contains a deeper emotion and some of the most gorgeous string writing you will ever hear. With the use of a softer dynamic paired with a slower tempo that fully displays the interplay of the voices, Elgar creates a delicate flavor of sweetness and tenderness that touches the heart.
- The 3rdmovement ends with a repeat of the beginning of the entire work which after repeated listenings, began to create a picture of a circle, or the feeling of infinity. Sort of like he was saying “our love has always been and it will go on forever.”
- I would love to see someone do a Ballet to this piece. I think it would work very nicely and see if you don’t see the dancers in your mind’s eye flitting from the stage as the curtain falls at the end of the piece.
- I hope you enjoy hearing and watching this performance of Elgar’s Serenade for Strings. For those of you who would like to try, I have also included a version of this music in score form so you can following along and see how these musical dots on paper are brought to life.