flute, oboe, Bb clarinet, bassoon, horn, 2 violins, viola, cello and double bass
Written at the age of 18, while still a student at the Royal College of Music, the Sinfonietta shows that Britten had already found his way, in a mature and obvious way, in his first opus.
The piece is solidly constructed and displays a perfect mastery of form, foreshadowing many of his future works.
Another reduced version for ensemble also exists with two horns. It was arranged by Britten in February 1936 but only performed once in his lifetime.