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Serenade in D minor

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Antonín Dvořák

Antonín Dvořák

This work also bears the title Serenade for Winds in D minor, Op. 44/B. 77.

General Info

Year: 1878
Duration: c. 25:55
Difficulty: VI (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Kalmus Music
Cost: Score & Parts - $90.00   |   Score Only - 45.00


1. Moderato, quasi marcia - 4:05
2. Minuetto - 6:10
3. Andante con moto - 8:10
4. Allegro molto - 6:20


Full Score
Oboe I-II
B-flat Clarinet I-II (also doublingA Clarinet)
Bassoon I-II
Contrabassoon (optional)
Horn in F I-II (also doubling Horn in E)
Horn in B-flat (basso, also doubling Horn in D) III



In Score:

  • Bassoon I, mvt. IV, m.61, beat 1: Quarter rest missing.

In Parts:

  • Oboe I, mvt. I, m.34, beat 2: Remove duration dot after E natural
  • Oboe I, mvt. I, m.70, beat 2: Remove ink splotch from below dotted D
  • Oboe II, mvt. II, m.139, beat 1: Remove “o”
  • Oboe II, mvt. IV, m.102, beat 1&: Delete ghost slur
  • Oboe II, mvt. IV, m.111, beat 1 and 2: Clarify accents
  • Oboe II, mvt. IV, m.156, beat 3: Delete half rest
  • B-flat Soprano Clarinet I, mvt. I, m.40, beat 4: Remove 2nd dot (speck)
  • B-flat Soprano Clarinet II, mvt. I, m.36, beat 4: Clarify quarter rest
  • B-flat Soprano Clarinet II, mvt. II, m.36, beat 1: Delete staccato dot
  • B-flat Soprano Clarinet II, mvt. IV, m.189: Continue crescendo lines to meas. 191
  • Horn in F I, mvt. III, m.32, beat 4: Should A natural be A-flat?
  • Horn in F III, mvt. II, m.175: Delete rehearsal “I”
  • Horn in F III, mvt. II, m.176: Add rehearsal “I”

Program Notes

Serenade in D Minor, Op. 44, is a versatile work that can fill a variety of programming needs. Technical demands are within the reach of most advanced high school performers. This piece could serve as an introduction to wind chamber music in general or, more specifically, to the Czech-inspired style of Dvořák. It could also be utilized at the college level to reinforce stylistic differences between Romantic and Classical chamber works. Regardless of educational intent, it is highly accessible to audiences, featuring delightful settings of folk melodies.

- Notes from Great Music for Wind Band

Dvořák composed this work in two weeks, the first movement being written in one day. It was written in 1878 and was premiered that same year in Prague with the composer conducting. With its instrumentation of ten winds and two strings and the charm of its melodies, it is reminiscent of the Mozart serenades written a century earlier. The minuet is an example of the native influence on Dvořák compositions. Its trio is a “furiant”, which is a Czech dance in quick triple time with syncopation, and this provides a marked contrast to the surrounding minuet sections of the movement. Also noteworthy is the return of the opening first movement theme toward the end of the final movement, leading into a grand conclusion of the piece. This opus is truly one of the masterpieces for wind ensemble.

- Notes from Program Notes for Band and David Nelson

We have Johannes Brahms to thank for essentially launching Dvořák’s career. In 1878, Brahms was a judge in a composition contest that awarded Dvořák honor as a contestant. Brahms then continued to champion the young Czech composer and helped him land his first publishing contract. The contract asked of Dvořák a symphony, which we know now as No. 5, as well as some other works, including the delicious serenade for winds (and strings).

The Serenade offers us Dvořák in youthful invention, as well as at his best in beautiful melodies and luscious harmony. That he chose to write this work for the winds that he did (two oboes, two clarinets, two bassoons, contrabassoon, and three horns) together with cello and bass, while omitting the flute, reveals the intention and fabric of the Serenade: darkly rich sonorities, chocolate-like lines, echoing the lovely serenades of the Mozart of old, while creating a uniquely Czech-sounding work. It is indeed exquisitely done, and one of the most glorious chamber-works ever written.

The satirically pompous first movement is at once arresting with its dotted rhythmical patterns and its delightful conjuring of the famous European/Czech village wind bands, or “harmoniemusik.” Finally, the Allegro molto arrives to bring all “round right with a stout rondo and certain glee.” And, for good measure, themes from the first movement are brought back in this finale to give the piece a lasting counterbalance. The overall result is as creative and brow-raisingly clever as Dvořák could be, and immensely fun to hear.

- Program Note by Max Derrickson for the University of Georgia Hodgson Wind Ensemble concert program, 19 April 2016


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • Texas A&M University (College Station) Wind Symphony (Timothy Rhea, conductor) - 24 February 2023
  • University of Colorado Boulder Chamber Winds (Derek Stoughton, conductor) - 2 October 2022
  • Southland Wind Ensemble (Ontario, Calif.) (George Osorio, conductor) - 30 April 2022
  • Shenandoah Conservatory (Winchester, Va.) Wind Ensemble (Tim Robblee, conductor) - 16 May 2021
  • University of Oklahoma (Norman) Wind Symphony (Shanti Simon, conductor) - 1 May 2021
  • University of South Florida (Tampa) Wind Ensemble (Matthew McCutchen, conductor) - 7 May 2021
  • Baldwin-Wallace University (Berea, Ohio) Symphonic Band (Brendan Caldwell, conductor) - 26 March 2021
  • University of Minnesota (Minneapolis) University Wind Ensemble (multiple conductors) - 25 March 2021
  • University of British Columbia (Vancouver) Symphonic Wind Ensemble (Rob Taylor, conductor) - 26 February 2021
  • Shenandoah Conservatory (Winchester, Va.) Wind Ensemble (Tim Robblee, conductor) - 2 March 2021 (Virtual)
  • University of Kentucky (Lexington) Symphony Band (Michael Hudson, conductor) - 16 November 2020
  • Eastman Wind Ensemble (Rochester, N.Y.) (Mark Scatterday, conductor) - 16 September 2020
  • University of Maryland (College Park) Wind Symphony (H. Robert Reynolds, conductor) – 29 February 2020
  • University of South Alabama (Mobile) Chamber Winds (William H. Petersen, conductor) – 28 January 2020
  • Missouri Southern State University (Joplin) Clarinet Ensemble (Cheryl Cotter, conductor) – 22 November 2019
  • Temple University (Philadelphia, Penn.) Wind Symphony (Patricia Cornett, conductor) – 22 November 2019
  • University of Miami (Fla.) Frost Wind Ensemble (Robert Carnochan, conductor) – 21 November 2019
  • The Ohio State University (Columbus) Wind Symphony Chamber Winds (Russell C. Mikkelson, conductor) – 14 November 2019
  • University of Kansas (Lawrence) Wind Ensemble (Justin Harbaugh, conductor) - 2 May 2019
  • Ball State University (Muncie, Ind.) Wind Ensemble (Austin Hinkle, conductor) – 28 January 2019
  • Eastman School of Music (Rochester, N.Y.) Wind Ensemble (H. Robert Reynolds, conductor) - 9 December 2013

Works for Winds by This Composer

Adaptable Music

All Wind Works