Sinfonietta was written in 1970, published the following year, and used as test piece for the National Brass Band Championships in 1972. It was his first work for Brass Band, and he later rescored it for orchestra: 'legitimate orchestra' as he called it. The first movement, Allegro, is in sonata form, though the second subject is an emerging variant form of the first.
The second movement, Lento moderato, is based on a hymn-tune, which Horovitz says he heard in a dream. The morning after, he looked in various hymn-books to see what it might be, couldn't find it, and came to the conclusion that he must have composed it himself! Its principal interest is harmonic, and it exploits the sustaining quality of the lower instruments of the band.
The finale, A Con brio, is a rondo on a rather cheeky theme, which is always treated in its basic triads.
The work has become a popular classic with bands and audiences alike.
© Giles Easterbrook