Serenade to Music - Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872 - 1958)


Serenade to Music was written in 1938 as a tribute to Sir Henry Wood, and was first performed at the Royal Albert Hall with symphony orchestra and sixteen soloists, for whom the piece was specifically written, each one given a solo passage.  The words… "How sweet the moonlight sleeps upon this bank..." come from Act V of The Merchant of Venice – Lorenzo and Jessica are at Belmont, and sit listening to music, gazing at the stars and revelling in the magic of the night.  The music is exquisitely sweet and tender – at the premiere Rachmaninov, a guest of Sir Henry, listened to it and wept, declaring he had never been so moved by a piece of music.


 Samir Savant




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