This album is nothing less than a good mood poured into music. Which album can you say that about? And even from what classical album, classical music always having a good portion of "seriousness", or "heaviness". But how is it that the four compositions gathered here in particular are in a good mood? This has to do with the happy living conditions under which Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky and Antonín Dvořák had turned to the theme "composing a Serenade". Dvořák was relatively newly married, the couple was just enjoying the birth of their first son and the Czech's career was just beginning to take off. Optimal conditions for composing his life-affirming Serenade for Strings in E Major, Opus 22. Tchaikovsky, who was afflicted with self-doubt and depression throughout his short life, wrote his Serenade during a recreational stay on his sister's rural estate. In this protected atmosphere he succeeded in composing a work as optimistic as the "Italian Capriccio", flooded with the southern sun, and also the Serenade for Strings in C Major, Opus 48, one of his most famous works, which proved to be a real hit with the public starting with its premiere.
With his Serenade in the first movement, Tchaikovsky follows Mozart's trails in a stylistically light-footed manner after a rather Russianly difficult, hesitant introduction. The second movement is a delicately dabbed, melodious waltz as it can only come from the pen of the great ballet composer Tchaikovsky. Even the movement of the Russian's Serenade for Strings called "Elegia" radiates optimism despite all its melancholic basic attitude and thus joins the good mood motto of this album. After a slow introduction, the finale takes off enormously with a true catchy tune, which, after several modifications, almost overwhelms itself towards the rapid end of the final movement. A dream of music which, starting with its world premiere, proved to be a real hit with the audience.
Already as an early work, the string sonata Dvořáks shines in the colouring determined by the Slavic dances of his homeland, which colouring reflects in a unique way its landscape as well as the attitude to life of his fellow countrymen through the cantability of the Serenade's eloquent first movement, the exhilaration of the slow waltz movement, the third movement not to be surpassed in fine humour, the expressive beauty of the fourth movement and the wild, cheerful exuberance of the final movement. A feast for all the senses.
For the good mood cast in music as the Serenades of Dvořák and Tchaikovsky, to reach the listener and bring a smile to his face, a well-placed and competent string ensemble is needed, which is purposefully active for this album in the form of the Archi di Santa Cecilia. As members of the string choir of the Roman Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, the 24 musicians of the Archi di Santa Cecilia, conducted by Luigi Piovano, bring the incredible beauty of this music to life con eleganza.
Archi dell'Accademia di Santa Cecilia
Luigi Piovano, conductor