Canto Serioso, for horn and string quartet, arr. Weiner
Carl Nielsen, widely regarded as Denmark’s most reowned composer, wrote this short piece in 1913 as an audition piece for low horn with piano accompaniment. It’s merit as a solo piece was evident, and the potential as a transcription piece for cello was soon thereafter realized by the composer.
Only three minutes or so, the piece has echoes of both German Romantic stylings from Nielsen’s early career as well as the strong Danish folk song tradition he came to embrace in his later writings. Tempi are varied and lend themselves to wide interpretation. The duration of the work makes it quite programmable as a prelude to a longer work, or as an interlude in a longer program of shorter works.
Performance time: approx. 3:00
Appropriate for recitals and chamber settings, especially in conjunction with similar horn and string ensembles. Lyrical.