Listen to Serenade
(MP3, 4:45, 4.4 MB)

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2 Flutes
Oboe / E.H.)
2 Clarinets (Bb)
2 Horns (F)



Violins I
Violins 2

Score in C
OR Non-C

Timing: 5 Minutes


The Serenade for small orchestra was written in the summer of 1994 while I was house-sitting for a friend. The environment - a quiet house in a big, wooded yard in suburban Maryland - was conducive to writing, and the piece progressed swiftly, even though this was (and is) my first orchestral piece. Being alone in an empty house inclined me somewhat to melancholy, which put me in the mood for one of my favorite films, The Ghost and Mrs. Muir. This lovely film, with its evocative score by Bernard Herrmann, proved a great inspiration, and I think my Serenade expresses a haunted wistfulness that is reminiscent of the film.
Originally, the Serenade encompassed three movements, but I grew unhappy with the third movement and discarded it a few years after completion. The two remaining movements seemed unbalanced, so I gave the second movement, a scherzo, to my Semi-Suite, a work that contains two or three orphaned movements. The remaining original movement has stood well on its own, and I've revised it very little over the last ten years. I've come much more into my own voice as a composer since 1994, but I'm still quite proud, and fond, of this little serenade.

© Karen Amrhein. All Rights Reserved.