Hyperion Records

Serenade in D major, Op 25
circa 1800/1

'Beethoven: Serenade, Quintet & Trio' (CDA67526)
Beethoven: Serenade, Quintet & Trio
Movement 1: Entrata: Allegro
Movement 2: Tempo ordinario d'un menuetto
Movement 3: Allegro molto
Movement 4: Andante con variazioni
Movement 5: Allegro scherzando e vivace
Movement 6: Adagio – Allegro vivace e disinvolto – Presto

Serenade in D major, Op 25
The Serenade in D major, Op 25, for the airy combination of flute, violin and viola, was long thought to belong to the same period as the Clarinet Trio. Though the evidence is not watertight, 1800–01 now seems more likely, making the Serenade a close contemporary of the popular Septet. Written primarily for the profitable domestic market (since the days of Frederick the Great the flute was the instrument par excellence of the gentleman amateur), the Serenade, like the Septet, is a delightful late offshoot of the eighteenth-century divertimento tradition. Like Mozart in his Salzburg serenades, Beethoven begins with a march-like movement, here titled ‘Entrata’. In the opening fanfare the flute seems to be masquerading as a horn; the strings quickly join in the fun, and the whole movement is full of delicate, quickfire give-and-take between the three instruments.

Following tradition, the next movement is a galant minuet with two trios, the first for violin and viola alone, the second a skittering flute solo with a mandolin-style accompaniment. A mock-splenetic D minor Allegro molto leads to the Serenade’s centrepiece, a set of variations on a theme announced by the strings in double stopping to create a quartet texture. The three variations spotlight each of the instruments in succession, first flute (who turns the meditative theme into a frolic), then violin (with skipping triplets) and finally viola. After a frisky scherzo with a gliding, contrapuntal D minor trio, a brief Adagio acts as an introduction to the final rondo, a faintly rustic contredanse with a main theme characterized by piquant ‘Scotch Snap’ rhythms.

from notes by Richard Wigmore © 2006

Track-specific metadata
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Details for CDA67526 track 8
Tempo ordinario d'un menuetto
Recording date
21 May 2005
Recording venue
Henry Wood Hall, London, United Kingdom
Recording producer
Andrew Keener
Recording engineer
Simon Eadon
Hyperion usage
  1. Beethoven: Serenade, Quintet & Trio (CDA67526)
    Disc 1 Track 8
    Release date: May 2006
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