SINFONIETTA OP. 1

1932

Instrumental ensemble (10 musicians)
flute, oboe, Bb clarinet, bassoon, horn, 2 violins, viola, cello and double bass

DURATION • 16 minutes

DEDICATION • To Frank Bridge

EDITOR •  Boosey & Hawkes

PREMIERE • January 31, 1933 in London, "The Ballet Club" (Mercury Theatre), Macnaghten-Lemare concert, by the "English Wind Players" quintet, the Macnaghten string quartet and Adolf Lotter, double bass; conducted by Iris Lemare

Written at the age of 18, when he was still a student at the Royal College of Music, the Sinfonietta attests that Britten had already found her way, in a mature and obvious way, from his first opus.

 

The piece is solidly built and presents a perfect mastery of form, thus announcing several of his future works.

 

Another reduced version for ensemble also exists with two horns. It was arranged by Britten in February 1936 but given only once during her lifetime.