The Serenade for Strings (1937) is Swedish composer Dag Wiren's most famous work. Its short and witty movements are wonderfully tuneful, and the well-known finale often turns up in compilation albums.
The work opens with a busy Prelude that, despite its menacing moments, is genial in character. It's followed by a simple Andante espressivo, that at times becomes impassioned, and a syncopated Scherzo. The Marcia, with its attractive martial rhythms and memorable theme, wittily parodies military music. Its occasional dissonances add extra spice and the contrasting Viennese-style melody is charming. The work closes as the marching troops fade away into the distance.