The art of Serenata: Lassus, Strozzi, Stradella, etc.


Song of love, political military or private celebrations, the serenade is a kind of multiple facets which changes to its historical context. The most notorious form of the lover singing below the window of his beloved find its origin in the Middle Ages with  the courteous  songs of the minstrels . But at the end of the 16th century the serenade becomes a major cantata intended to celebrate a special  event: coronation, wedding, military victories, christening or official visits. Its name derives from the Italian word sereno because it is being played in open air with a clear(serene) sky. Due to a delightful  etymological error, it has been wrongly forever associated to sera (evening) thus becoming the most charming musical compliment of love.

Draw on, sweet night -  John Wilbie

Hor ch' Apollo - Barbara Strozzi