• fl/hp/vn.va.vc
  • 16 min

Programme Note

Robert Walker: Serenade

After studying at Jesus College, Cambridge and following several years as an organist and schoolmaster, a number of important commissions, including music for the enthronement of the Archbishop of Canterbury in 1975, enabled Robert Walker to devote more time to composition. His Chamber Symphony and String Quartet were featured at the 1982 Greenwich Festival and his Variations on a Theme of Elgar was premierèd at the Chichester Festival. Recent commissions have been as diverse as a Piano Quintet from the BBC, a Missa Brevis from a Catholic ordinand and Charms and Exultations of Trumpets from the Hampshire County Youth Orchestra. He is now working on his first symphony.

Serenade was commissioned especially for tonight's concert and, of it, the composer writes: 'This is a serenade to someone who isn't there. I have prefaced the score with a little dramatic scene which all of us have experienced one way or the other at some time:

She picked up the receiver
I heard the television.
"It's me."
"yes, what do you want?"
"Just rang for a chat."
"Look, I'm a bit busy just now.
Can you ring some other time?"
I rang again. There was no reply.'