Ravel's earliest piano composition to survive is entitled Sérénade
on the manuscript, from which one might assume that it was an easy-going piece suitable for performance by young ladies in the salons. However, in 1928 he expanded the title to Sérénade grotesque
, which fits the music much better, full as it is of surprises, both rhythmic and harmonic, with a plethora of dry arpeggiated chords marked pizzicatissimo. The composer in retrospect felt it was too much influenced by Chabrier (quite possibly by his Bourrée fantasque
) and it was not published until after his death.
from notes by Roger Nichols © 2011