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Joseph Horovitz

Publisher: Novello & Co

Sinfonietta (1970)
Novello & Co Ltd
Works for Band/Wind/Brass Ensemble
Year Composed
Edited by Bram Gay
11 Minutes
Alternate Orchestration
Arrangement for light orchestra also available 2121/2230/timp.perc/str
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Programme Note
Joseph Horovitz Sinfonietta (1970)
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

  • Ensemble
    C.W.S. (Glasgow) Band
    Joseph Horovitz
  • Ensemble
    Royal Ballet Sinfonia
    Joseph Horovitz
    ASV White Line:
  • Ensemble
    Royal Ballet Sinfonia
    Joseph Horovitz
  • Ensemble
    The CWS (Glasgow) Band / Brass Band Berner Oberland
    Steven Mead (euphonium)
    Joseph Horovitz
  • Ensemble
    Besses o' th' Barn Band
    Ifor James
  • Ensemble
    Brass Band Bacchus
    B.van Neyghem
  • Ensemble
    Kilmarnock Youth Band
    Andrew Keachie
  • 17 JUN 2017
    London City Orchestra
    Pablo Urbina, conductor
  • 11 DEC 2016
    Sheldonian Theatre, Oxford
    City of Oxford Orchestra
    Jacques Cohen, conductor
  • 23 FEB 2014
    Charlevoix, Michigan, USA
    Northern Michigan Brass Band
    Ralph Schweigert, conductor
  • 10 NOV 2013
    Grayling, Michigan, USA
    Northern Michigan Brass Band
    Ralph Schweigert, conductor
  • 20 OCT 2013
    Saskatoon, Canada
    Saskatoon Brass Band
  • 24 NOV 2012
    Belgian National Brass Championships
    Leuven, Belgium
  • 28 MAR 2010
    Prinecton, NJ, USA
    Princeton Brass Band
    Stephen Allen, conductor
  • 03 APR 2009
    NABBA XXVII Championships
    Louisville, Kentucky, USA

    Other Dates:
    4 April - Louisville, Kentucky, USA
  • 23 NOV 2008
    Durham County Brass Band Association Contest
    Peterlee, Durham
  • 26 OCT 2008
    Pontins Brass Band Festival
    Pontins Brass Band Festival, Prestatyn, Wales
  • 07 JUL 2007
    Prestagyn, Wales
    Brass Bands Youth Championships
  • 20 OCT 2006
    Emmeloord, Netherlands
    Frysk Jeugd Fanfare Orkest
  • 26 MAY 2006
    Joseph Horovitz 80th Birthday Concert
    Royal College of Music, London
    RCM Wind Orchestra, Zone OneBrass Band
  • 15 FEB 2003
    Kultur und Kongresszentrum Lucerne, Switzerland
    Buergermusik Luzern / Akademiechor
    Joseph Horovitz, conductor
  • 12 APR 2002
    North American BB Championships
    Cincinatti, OH
    Cincinatti Brass Band

    Other Dates:
    13 April - Cincinatti, OH

The concert was launched by the scintillating Sinfonietta (1971), the first of Horovitz’s many National Brass Band Championship test pieces. Zone One Brass, under the baton of RCM Head of Brass Nigel Black, projected its propulsive main theme with exciting ricochets and suspense, while the pastoral slow movement flowed with sheer enjoyment around harmonic highways and byways, leading to an explosively exuberant finale.
Malcolm Miller, Tempo,06/10/2006
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