Sinfonietta

James MacMillan (1959)

Sinfonietta 1991

afl(=picc).corA.Ebcl(=bcl).ssax.dbn-1.picctpt.1.1-perc(2):glsp/vib/wdbl/2cowbells/2congas/SD/2tam-t(med,lg)/t.bells/tgl/abvil/2tom-t/BD/susp.cym(lg)/sizzle cym(lg)-harp-pft-strings(min:6.6.4.4.2)
Duration 
19
Commissioner 
Publisher 

Sinfonietta begins serenely with very still textures, slowly moving chords and repeating melodic material. The feeling is ritualistic and calm. With a series of extremely sudden jolts and furiously emphatic repetitions the music swings gradually towards a grotesque, quasi-militaristic central section. This swaggering parody of a march brings the rich raucous wind sounds to the fore as the music becomes more frenetic. The climax throws this bellicose craziness into stark juxtaposition with a re-emergent floating material on unison strings which re-establishes the mood of the opening. This simple arch-form takes the work from the tranquil to the visceral and back again.

James MacMillan, 1999

(This programme note can be reproduced free of charge in concert programmes with a credit to the composer)

Performances 
14.5.92 Queen Elizabeth Hall, London: London Sinfonietta / Martyn Brabbins
20/21.11.92 Glasgow & Stirling: BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra / Jerzy Maksymiuk
14.2.93 RNCM, Manchester: London Sinfonietta / James MacMillan
4.3.93 Royal Festival Hall, London: Philharmonia Orchestra / Leonard Slatkin
27.8.93 Usher Hall, Edinburgh: Philharmonia Orchestra / Leonard Slatkin
20/21.3.94 St Petersburg, Russie: St. Petersburg Philharmonic / Martyn Brabbins
17.6.94 RNCM, Manchester: RNCM Chamber Orchestra / Michel Brandt
23.3.95 BBC Maida Vale, London: London Sinfonietta / Sakari Oramo
9.11.96 Vienna Konzerthaus, Austria: Wiener Kammerorchester / Ernst Kovacic
27/28.9.97 Schouwburg Tilburg & Haarlem, Netherlands: North Holland Philharmonic Orchestra / Thierry Fischer
21.4.99 RNCM, Manchester: BBC Philharmonic Orchestra / James MacMillan
25.7.99 Brisbane, Australia: Queensland Symphony Orchestra / James MacMillan
15/16.3.00 Bedford Corn Exchange & Royal Festival Hall, London: Philharmonia Orchestra / Leonard Slatkin
15-17.6.00 Turkey tour (Istanbul, Izmir): Philharmonia Orchestra / Leonard Slatkin
24/25.10.02 Rennes & Paris, France: Orchestre de Bretagne / James MacMillan
25.3.04 Karlstad, Sweden: Varmlands Sinfonietta / James MacMillan
13.1.05 GSMD, London: Students from the Guildhall School of Music
9.3.05 Sage Gateshead: Northern Sinfonia / James MacMillan
21.6.06 Aldeburgh Festival: Harmonieband / Charles Hazlewood
13.7.06 Cheltenham Festival: Excellent Device / Charles Hazlewood
6/7.9.07 Siegen, Germany: Phiharmonie Südwestfalen / Russell Harris
6.11.09 Santiago de Compostela, Spain: Royal Galicia Philharmonic / Paul Daniel
15/16.1.10 Milwaukee, WI, USA: Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra / Paul Daniel
12.11.10 Riga, Latvia: Sinfonietta Riga
21.10.11 Tallinn, Estonia: Tallinn Chamber Orchestra / Tonu Kaljuste
20.4.13 Concertgebouw, Amsterdam, Netherlands: Netherlands Radio Kamer Filharmonie / James MacMillan
12.5.13 Salzburg, Austria: Münchner Rundfunkorchester / Antonio Méndez
28.8.16 Eugene, OR, USA: Oregon Bach Festival Orchestra / James MacMillan
1
Flute
alto flute doubling piccolo
1
Oboe
cor anglais
1
Clarinet
Eb clarinet doubling bass clarinet
1
Saxophone
soprano sax
1
Bassoon
contrabassoon
1
Horn
1
Trumpet
piccolo trumpet
1
Trombone
1
Tuba
2
Percussion
glockenspiel, vibraphone, woodblock, 2 cowbells, 2 congas, side drum, 2 tam-tam (medium & large), tubular bells, triangle, anvil, 2 tom-tom, bass drum, suspended cymbal (large), sizzle cymbal (large)
6
Violin
6
Violin II
4
Viola
4
Cello
2
Double bass
1
Harp
1
Piano
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