Igor Stravinsky

Serenade for piano in A major

    Description by Alexander Carpenter

    Stravinsky's Serenade for Piano in A, was completed on September 9, 1925 in Vienna. The work consists of four movements: I. Hymne, II. Romanza, III. Rondoletto, IV. Candenza Finala. The Serenade was written in fulfillment of a recording contract stipulating the piece fill one side of an LP record. As Stravinsky has noted, the piece was conceived as an imitation of eighteenth-century festive evening music. The titles of the movements are meant to evoke specific parts of the evening: the Hymne that welcomes the guests, the Romanza a "solo of ceremonial homage paid by the artist to the guests," the dance music of the third movement, and the concluding music of the Cadenza Finala. Though titled Serenade in A, the work is not simply in the key of A major or minor; but rather, as Stravinsky scholar Eric W. White points out, A is the "tonic pole" or tonal center of the work, the pitch from which the music grows and towards which it gravitates. A has a number of different functions throughout the work, serving as the beginning and concluding note of each movement, and as both a tonic and dominant harmony. Texturally and timbrally, the work is a blend of Stravinsky's generally dry, percussive esthetic, with a more lush, lyrical sound. White notes the echoes of Debussy in the parallel chords of the final movement, and describes the work as "the most satisfactory" of Stravinsky's solo piano works.

    Parts/Movements

    1. Hymn
    2. Romance
    3. Rondoletto
    4. Final Cadence

    Appears On

    Year Title Label Catalog #
    2016 Praga / Praga Digitals PRD 250342
    2015 Nimbus NI 1718
    2015 Sony Classical 88875026162
    2015 DG Deutsche Grammophon B002398272
    2014 Sony Classical G010003219297F
    2014 Steinway & Sons 30028
    2014 Sony Classical 888430147621
    2010 Denon Records
    2008 DG Deutsche Grammophon 4778050
    2008 EMI Classics / Warner Classics 5099921757
    2008 Naxos 8570377
    2008 EMI Classics 351825
    2008 Ars Produktion 38444
    2007 Sony Classical Essential Classics 103112
    2007 Apex
    2006 Universal
    2006 Vanguard 1796
    2006 Vista Vera 70
    2005 ECM 4651372
    2005 EMI Music Distribution 86073
    2004 Phoenix USA 157
    2002 Andante 1960
    2001 Sony Music Distribution 46297
    2001 Gall (formerly Gallo) 1027
    2000 Naxos 553871
    1997 Nimbus 5519
    1996 Rene Gailly 87079
    1995 Melodiya 25176
    1995 Centaur Records 2188
    1995 Berlin Classics 0031222
    1994 Bridge 9051
    1992 New World Records 80344
    1992 Chandos 8962
    1992 EMI Music Distribution 67276
    1991 Sony Music Distribution 46290
    1986 CBS Records / Columbia MK-42122
    Collins Records 13742
    Denon Records 18019
    Saga Classics 3391
    Melodiya 25172
    Vanguard 334