Serenade, Opus 7 (1881)
Strauss was only seventeen years old when he wrote this piece, scoring it for pairs of flutes, oboes, clarinets, and bassoons, plus four horns and a contrabassoon. The music is cast in one large movement embracing a short sonata form. Although one of his first works, reminiscent of the andantes of Mozart, all of the typical Straussian qualities are presentÑthe long, arching, melodic lines, rich harmonic textures and instrumental virtuosity. The delightful nature of the melodies and Strauss’ knowledgeable use of the instruments make the Serenade a gem in the wind instrument literature.
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