Serenade for Strings
Instrumentation: String orchestra
Written in the summer of 2013 in Stoneham, Massachusetts, this was the last piece I wrote before leaving the US for Germany. In many ways, this piece is an extension of my String Quartet in a minor, taking what I learned about the string family, and expanding it to a large concert ensemble.
The first movement, a Passacaglia, had it's roots in an abandoned work for organ, and was also inspired by a piece from my wind ensemble days, Holst's First Suite for Military Band. The middle movement is an adaptation of the "Lullaby" adagio movement from my string quartet. For the Toccata finale, I chose to experiment with ideas gleaned from Lou Harrison's Music Primer, an invaluable little pamphlet of wit and wisdom that has served me well for many years. The movement is based on the first five prime numbers - 1, 2, 3, 5 & 7. Rhythmic hits are spaced out using rests values corresponding to this sequence, and harmonic and melodic content are derived in part from these intervals.