Serenade for Two

Serenade for Two tells a story through three sections of interplay between a marimba and clarinet.

William Cahn joined the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra as principal percussionist after graduating form the Eastman School of Music in 1968.

Serenade for Two was completed in January 2003. It was composed for and is dedicated to Tomoko Inaba and Aki Uwabe. A serenade is normally defined as “evening music in the open air”, usually sung or played by a suitor to charm and win the affections of a love interest.

Here the music is scored for clarinet and marimba, and it is essentially an interplay of rhythmic and lyrical elements which appear and dissolve, sometimes in synchrony and sometimes in contrast. There are three sections – fast, slow, fast. The first section introduces the principal musical elements which combine to suggest an intense but unsettled mood. In the middle section the marimba produces an agitated counterpoint to the clarinet’s song. This leads into the closing in which the musical elements are revisited in an altered form, but still with an unresolved emotional undercurrent.

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