Serenade No 5 in E flat

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serenade no.5 in E flat

from Hob. VIIh: 5

  1. Allegro
  2. Andante
  3. Vivace

Haydn’s eight Notturni were composed in 1788-90 to fulfil a commission from King Ferdinand IV of Naples for music featuring his favourite instrument, the lira organizzata. The Neapolitan variety, a popular equivalent of the hurdy-gurdy, incorporated small organ pipes activated by a keyboard. Haydn liked his Notturni well enough to rescore several of them for the famous Salomon concerts in London in 1791-92, replacing the lira parts with flute and oboe.

These Notturni are the work of a great composer at the height of his powers, and fully justify Haydn’s faith in them. Derek Smith’s sensitive and inventive reworking of this material for modern instruments is a welcome addition to the wind repertory.