for two wind instruments (or free-bass accordion) and harp (or piano), by Henry Doktorski
Printed Music: Serenade (1993, revised 1996) by Henry Doktorski for two wind instruments (or free-bass accordion) and harp (or piano). Duration: 3 minutes, 30 seconds. Professionally typeset and printed. Score = 7 pages and measures 8.5 x 11 inches. Parts included. Recorded on Boston Records by Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra members Gretchen Van Hoesen (flute) and James Gorton (oboe), and performed in concert with Van Hoesen, Gorton, and Robert Langevin (principal flutist with the New York Philharmonica Orchestra). Also recorded with accordion and harp by Henry and Gretchen on A Classical Christmas CD.
Jeanne Belfy recognized Henry’s deceptively simple yet hauntingly beautiful and harmonically-pleasing Serenade as a “tuneful bon-bon” in a review published by The Double Reed. In addition, music critic George David Exoo refered to Henry’s Serenade when he wrote, “The melodic beauty of Henry’s compositions recalls Ralph Vaughan Williams’ memorable comment on atonal music: ‘And just what’s wrong with a good tune?’”
“Serenade originated during the summer of 1993 when I was recording my A Classical Christmas CD, and I wanted to include a fourth piece on the album featuring Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra principal harpist Gretchen Van Hoesen. I sat down at my piano, and the tune appeared in its entirety in my manuscript notebook in about fifteen minutes. Of course, I spent a lot more time working out the counterpoint, but the basic idea came quickly.
“Some three years later, Gretchen and her husband, oboist James Gorton, wanted to perform the piece in a recital at the First Unitarian Church in Pittsburgh with New York Philharmonic principal flutist Robert Langevin. They asked me to write a trio arrangement. I decided to make the piece a little more complex by including two key modulations, and I added transitional passages between the key changes. I really think that this piece works best as a duet for two wind instruments (or free-bass accordion) with harp or piano accompaniment.”
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