Sinfonia

Stephen Roberts (1952)

Sinfonia 2005

0000 - 4431 - perc - strings
Duration 
15
Genre 
Commissioner 
Publisher 

1. Intrada 2. Sarabande 3. Canzona

Sinfonia was commissioned by BBC Radio 3 for the BBC National Orchestra of Wales and first performed by them under David Atherton in May 2005 in Swansea and Cardiff. It was also performed at a later date under Thierry Fischer.

The brief for the work was for something upbeat to open a concert programme. The title Sinfonia looks back to historical works for brass by composers such as Scheidt and Purcell with the subtitles of the three movements, Intrada, Sarabande and Canzona reinforcing this provenance. On the surface level the Intrada takes up the theme of Battle music, with the opening Eb major chords (taken from the sound of a car alarm) representing a call to arms. The Sarabande is a threnody, while the finale opens in a wasteland and gradually rebuilds to a climactic conclusion. Under the surface the work wrestles with notions of musical 'dialect', starting with the simplest of tonal material, breaking it down through modality and atonality to gradually re-emerge with a triumphant conclusion.

Stephen Roberts

Performances 
May 2005, Swansea and Cardiff: BBC National Orchestra of Wales / David Atherton
4
Horn
4
Trumpet
3
Trombone
3rd bass trombone
1
Tuba
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