Sérénade, op 45 (1988)

Jacques Hétu

string quartet, and flute


  • 1. Prélude
  • 2. Nocturne
  • 3. Danse

Program Notes

This work was a commission of G. Hamilton Southam for his wife, Marion, on the occasion of their wedding anniversary. Written in April, 1988, it saw it’s debut at their summer house on August 17th of that same year, with principal players from the National Arts Centre Orchestra. The performance took place at the Southams’ summer residence, sur- rounded by the natural splendour of its island locale, in the middle of Lake Rideau. The piece was conceived as a musical commentary, using Act V, Scene i of Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice. It evokes the bucolic tranquili- ty and harmony of a starry summer’s night. A lyrical serenade in three movements, it begins with a brief Prélude. An elaborate Nocturne follows, with the thematic scheme A B C B A C B A. The finale, a livley Danse, takes the same form as the Nocturne, but recalls elements of the Prélude in its coda. Here, every register of the flute is used to elaborate the strong- ly melodic passage.