In 1918-19, Gian Francesco Malipiero wrote a collection of seven songs, commonly known as Sette Canzoni. They were initially intended as a stand-alone work, but became incredibly popular when they were included as the second act of the composer’s opera L’Orfiede. However, in recent years the collection has come to be recognised in its own right as one of the composer’s masterpieces.
Like all of the seven songs, the fifth, Serenata, is designed as an individual mini-opera. Scored for a solo Tenor with Piano accompaniment, it tells the story of a young lover serenading his beloved. At the same time, unknown to him, she sits inside lamenting the death of a relative.
Serenata has been translated from the original Italian into French by Henry Prunières, and into English by Edwin Evans.