George Walker

Serenata for Chamber Orchestra

    The Serenata for Chamber Orchestra was commissioned for the Michigan Chamber Orchestra by George Pelham Head in memory of his wife, Patricia Head.  It received its premiere in October of 1983 in Detroit, Michigan.  A second performance was given by the New York Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra in July of 1984 on a Horizon's '94 concert.

    The three movement work begins, after a sustained note, with a rising motive in sixteenth notes.  This recurs throughout the movement.  The arioso-like quality of the melody in the second movement is often entwined with a counter melody.  The third movement begins with a brief introduction that is followed by melodic fragments in the strings.  The next section, propelled by repeated notes in the winds, climaxes with quotes from two popular songs, overlapping as a collage.   The concluding section, utilizing the arpeggiated intervals of the beginning, concludes wistfully.