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Concert Work

Serenada Schizophrana

Music composed by Danny Elfman
Orchestrations by: Steve Bartek and Edgardo Simone
Spanish lyrics by Claudia Brant
MIDI realization by Rob Vermillion
Premiered 2005.02.23 20:00
New version for CD released 2006.10.03:
Conductor: John Mauceri
Orchestrators: Steve Bartek (tracks 1,3,5,6) and Edgardo Simone (tracks 2,7)
Recorded: The Newman Scoring Stage, Fox Studios

Rating: * * * * / * * *


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Track Samples

From Concert...
01. Pianos (1'58") 1,360k
05. "I forget" (1'01") 717k
Streamed from CD...

Danny Elfman's Serenada Schizophrana

Did you know...

  • A follow-up concert was made soon after the premiere, by the Redwood Symphony at Bayside Performing Arts Centre, San Mateo, 2005.10.02 15:00
  • The score took 10 weeks to complete. (NPR, 2005.02.27)
  • Danny started with 15-16 short pieces and evolved the 6 movement structure from ideas which worked for him. (NPR, 2005.02.27)
  • 'Quadruped Patrol' was written with two dogs of uneven size trotting side-by-side in mind. (NPR, 2005.02.27)
  • SS is only his second concert work. The first was his Piano Concerto 11/2, an ambitious 51/2 minute piece written in the late 1970's for Oingo Boingo. No recording appears extant, although Elfman claims that even there he was influenced by Prokofiev and Stravinsky. (American composers Orchestra website, ca.2005.02)
  • In order to cater for the birth of his son Oliver, Elfman agreed to move the performance of his work from the smaller to the main hall of the Carnegie venue - this mean't it could be scheduled one month later than originally agreed and gave Elfman the family time he needed.
  • Although this is a concert work, Elfman still utilised orchestrators, such is his work ethic. He is not, however, the first composer of non-film music to farm out this part of the process to collaborators. The practice was quite common especially in opera where time constraints were tight and budgets comparatively lavish.
  • Lyrics to movement 5 in both Spanish and English here [updated]


Movement Listing: Concert, 2005

01. Pianos
02. Blue Strings
03. A Brass Thing
04. Quadruped Patrol
05. "I forget"
06. Bells
Total running time: (ca.37'00")

Track Listing: CD release, 2006

1. I. Pianos
2. II. Blue Strings
3. III. A Brass Thing
4. IV. The Quadruped Patrol
5. V. "I Forget"
6. VI. Bells and Whistles
7. End Tag (Total running time: 43'16")
8. Improv for Alto Sax (2'56")


What is Serenada Schizophrana?

The Serenada is many things. It started as...
Danny Elfman's first mature concert work (2005.02), written in answer to an American Composers Orchestra (ACO) commission and scored for:
  flutes (3, with 3rd doubling on picc.)
  oboes (3, with 3rd doubling on Cor Anglais)
  clarinets (3, doubling E-flat, bass clar, and alto sax)
  bassoons (3, with 3rd doubling on contrabassoon)
  horns (6)
  trumpets (3)
  trombones (3, with 3rd doubling bass trombone)
  bass/contrabass trombone
  tuba (doubling on cimbasso)
  pianos (2)
  small female chorus [8 voices]
The ACO premiered the commission on 23rd Feburary 2005 in the Isaac Stern Auditorium of the Carnegie complex in New York.

Subsequent to the warm critical reception to its performance, Elfman's score was recorded (2005.12) by Maestro John Mauceri with a 96-piece orchestra and female chorus, and used in the documentary film Deep Sea 3D, currently still on cinematic release. It is as yet unverified what alterations were made to the score at this point.

Finally a CD release (multi-channel SACD, but as hybrid capable of playing in normal CD players) of the music has been prepared for release in 2006.10, complete with alterations to both music and (most noticeably) orchestration.

Forces employed: 43 violins, 18 violas, 21 cellos, 10 double basses, 4 flutes (soloist is Louise Di Tullio), 4 oboes, 4 clarinets, alto saxophone (Dan Higgins), 6 bassoons, 8 horns, 6 trumpets, 4 trombones, tuba, 5 percussionists, timpani, harp, 2 pianos, plus choir (9 singers). Additional: programming by T. J. Lindgren
Conducted by John Mauceri