This masterly work was written for the combined musical talents of Peter Pears and Dennis Brain. Framed by a horn solo played on natural harmonics to evoke an atmosphere of far-off, primeval innocence, the Serenade
is an extraordinary example of Britten's ability to set an anthology of texts bound together by a similar theme, in this case, the world of night, sleep and dreams. The twilight atmosphere that characterizes this beautiful and evocative work is offset by the two settings that form its centerpiece, the “worm in the rose” of Blake's Elegy
and a nightmarish setting of the anonymous 15th-century Lyke Wake Dirge
. This item is a vocal score only.
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