Prototypical wunderkind. Revolutionary composer. Precocious firebrand. Today, it is typically in this highly romanticized light that people choose to remember Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Growing up with such talent during what is viewed as the golden age for artistic patronage, it is no wonder that Mozart’s life is often described as a carefree one full of limitless opportunity and tragically cut short.
Derived from the Italian wordsereno(which means "calm"),serenataoriginally referred to an evening song or performance for purposes of courtship. By the late 18th century, however, the term serenade denoted a chamber work typically intended for light entertainment. As a musical form, the serenade grew increasingly popular and important especially during theClassicalandRomanticperiods.