Composed for orchestra, Serenata was completed on February 12, 1947. It is 3 minutes and 55 seconds long. It was first performed on May 10, 1947 as an extra at the Boston Pops, with Arthur Fiedler conducting. Serenata was first recorded on April 25, 1949 in analog mono sound by Arthur Fiedler conducting the Boston Pops. Its first recording by the composer was on September 11, 1950, in analog mono sound. It was re-recorded in analog stereo by the composer on May 26, 1959. Lyrics were added by Mitchell Parish in 1950. Leroy Anderson was proud to have written such a melodic based composition that such esteemed jazz singers as Sarah Vaughan have recorded it. It was also sung on the last jazz album recorded by Nat King Cole, one that also featured jazz pianist George Shearing.
Composer quotes: "You know it's an interesting thing,
because I've written pieces like "The Typewriter" which you just heard, and
about clocks, not the regular kind but the syncopated kind, a lot of people associated
this, because they happen to know the number, with the music I write, and I've been told
that people say, Oh, Anderson, he just writes these pieces for
"On the other hand, other compositions of mine started with a fragment of melody, as in "Serenata" or "Promenade." From the first notes the melodic line grew into a full melody with harmonic and rhythmic background, then other sections were added, and introduction and a coda were worked out to make a well-rounded compositions - - - and finally I added a title that seemed best to identify the music In the case of ́Serenata" I began with the flowing melody you hear as the main section - - - then, since this main part was in a major key with a very broad melody, the music seemed to call for something to introduce it in a minor key, so I wrote the first section with fast repeated notes. When the whole thing was put together with a beguine rhythm as a background, it seemed to me to sound like a Latin-American serenade, so I added the Spanish title ́Serenata."