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Theodore Servin

Serenade in E-flat major, Op. 8

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 The Serenade in E-flat major was written alongside the Fantasia in F-sharp minor, Op. 7. In fact, this piece was meant to be the original second movement of the Fantasia, but seeing just how long the entire piece would have been, I decided to replace it with a shorter second movement, and make this piece a separate work. The piece lasts roughly 14 minutes in length.

Here is my performance of the piece on Youtube:

I hope you all enjoy. ­čÖé

Theo

Edited by Theodore Servin
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Theo,

I have spent two enjoyable afternoons listening to your three recent piano works (op. 7,8,9).  Last weekend, I decided I should hear them again before commenting.  Having now done that, it is clear that they are all accomplished, confident works.  Your performances are also excellent and make for enjoyable listening.

In my opinion, the Serenade is the best of the three, and by a fairly wide margin.  Though all these works have some very beautiful moments (the end of the barcarolle, the harmonic sequence at 6:00-6:30 in the serenade and 2:30-50 in Op. 9 stand out to me), there is a much greater degree of contrast in the Serenade, which makes your themes more memorable.  The main theme of the Serenade is particularly well-crafted.  It has a sense of unpredictability in the rhythmic treatment that makes it feel more natural and expressive, and it contrasts beautifully with the haunting material of your second theme.  Here, it is the colour that captures my attention, not the melody, and this is why I find it so effective - it is not always the same element of the writing that is captivating in this work. 

For me, these works demonstrate an interesting combination of primarily Rachmaninoff and Liszt.  It is unsurprising to know that Rachmaninoff is among your favourite composers, as your use of harmony and the motives themselves are frequently reminiscent of him in all three works.  You may find that people criticize you for this, especially if you study at the post-secondary level (or perhaps you have encountered this already).  Ignore them.  They may very well have useful things to say about your works, but if the criticism is solely directed at the fact that your writing bears a resemblance to earlier composers, those opinions are of no value to you.  Always write the music you want to hear.

I will conclude by saying that you made the right decision to not use this as the 2nd movement of your fantasy.  Curious, I listened to that work with this movement in the middle.  It doesn't work.  The character is too different.

Best wishes!

 

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@pianist_1981, thank you so much for your comment. I'm glad that you have enjoyed my recent piano works, and my performances of them. It means a lot to me.

It's true that the Serenade has a wider range of contrasting emotions than the other piano works. In a sense, the Serenade is the true Fantasy of the three, as it has the most free emotions and form of all three pieces.

Also, you're right about the Serenade not fitting as the 2nd moment of the Fantasia. Originally, though, I had a section in the middle of the Serenade that quoted the theme of the first movement of the Fantasia, to try to connect the two works. I realized, however, that the section just didn't fit in with the rest of the piece, plus the piece would have been too long.

Again, thank you immensely for your observations. I really appreciate that you took the time to listen to my works and consider them carefully.

All the best,

Theo ­čśä

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