Listening to Hannigan’s stunning performance of Serenada Concertante, it is clear that Gill has an intimate understanding of the instrument, the artist, and the canon of oboe solo literature…The consummate soloist, her virtuosic ability shines particularly in the epic poem of an unaccompanied cadenza…The work finishes with jubilant, syncopated dance themes featuring the full orchestra and solo winds in duet with the oboe…Gill’s Serenada Concertante is an exciting addition to the oboist’s concerto repertoire and Hannigan’s performance with the Boston Modern Orchestra Project is a monumental debut recording.
– The Double Reed, Vol. 44, No. 4, December 2021
The texture of the orchestration is especially fine, with lovely, colorful blending between solo line and orchestra, lending the music a chamberlike intimacy at many moments.
– Broad Street Review, 20 August 2018
Serenada Concertante was written for Dallas Symphony Principal Oboist Erin Hannigan, reveling in virtuosity and paying tribute to touchstone works of the solo oboe repertoire.
– HRAudio.net, March 2018
Gill’s writing makes large romantic gestures with plenty of painfully virtuosic opportunities (handled beautifully) for the soloist and the various soli and duettini which occur in the course of this full blown concerto. The composer’s ability to utilize such a large orchestra yet still produce lucid textures is a mark of genius…
– New Music Buff, 10 January 2018
Getting its world premiere was the Serenada concertante for oboe and orchestra by the 41-year-old American composer Jeremy Gill…it’s replete with imaginative textures and interplays between soloist and orchestra…By turns stringing out lyric lines, weaving arabesques and exploding in flourishes and runs, the oboe seems almost to tell a tale. It’s hard to imagine a soloist more authoritative or more eloquent than [Erin] Hannigan, and [Jaap] van Zweden led an incisive, finely detailed orchestral collaboration.
– The Dallas Morning News, 30 January 2016
Composer Gill took advantage of the oboe’s natural lyricism to create a succinct, 19-minute concerto which opens somewhat romantically, with the oboe’s long opening note emerging mystically from a cloud of strings…the overall effect was rhapsodic and elegiac, including an extended cadenza that may well rank as the longest patch of writing for unaccompanied oboe in the entire classical repertoire. Soloist [Erin] Hannigan presented this first performance of the work, written specifically for her, with flawless control and an appropriately gorgeous tone quality.
– Dallas Observer, 30 January 2016
The audience was hoping for heart. And they got it. Serenada Concertante by Jeremy Gill featured principal oboist Erin Hannigan. This world premiere, composed for her, highlighted iron-lung breath control, adventurous technique, and tone like a sunrise. Seated behind, her musical family’s playing was the most emotionally invested of the night…The DSO owned every one of the composition’s many layers.
– Theater Jones, 30 January 2016
Serenada Concertante is a concerto for oboe and small orchestra. The title evokes the serenades of the Classical era, and in particular the music of Mozart (who composed perhaps the best oboe concerto in the literature). Serenades were intended to be performed out-of-doors, and many of Mozart’s best serenades are for winds, the quintessential outdoor instruments. Serenades tend toward the bucolic, and I wanted to compose a kind of music similar to Mozart’s: sunny, beautiful, a bit nostalgic. I was also inspired by another contender for best oboe concerto—the wonderful late concerto by Richard Strauss, who was himself inspired by Mozart in several of his later works.
I have known Erin Hannigan for many years—we both studied oboe with Richard Killmer at the Eastman School of Music—but this is the first time I’ve had the opportunity to write for her. When she approached me about writing this concerto for her and the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, I knew immediately that the character of the work would reflect the character of the soloist. Erin is a well-known advocate for abandoned and abused animals and I wanted to compose a piece that celebrates this goodness in her. As someone whose music tends to be quite dark, this was a wonderful exercise for me! Above all, I wanted to compose music for her that was positive but not naïve, sweet but not cloying. Here again, Mozart and Strauss were fine examples.
In this concerto, I employ several traditional aspects of the concerto form. Firstly, it is in three movements following a traditional fast-slow-fast design, with the resultant mix of musically expressive types. (The movements are played without pause.) Secondly, there is an extended cadenza, during which Erin plays without the accompaniment of the orchestra—the most intensely virtuosic and intimate section of the concerto. Finally, there is a rousing finale, in which the orchestra participates, with many solos from the orchestra’s strings and winds.