Sinfonietta No 2

Commissioned by the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain and first performed by them on the 6th August 1992.

1 Overture: Vivace

A bustling opening movement in sonata form. After an introduction in which a syncopated theme is tossed around the band, the first subject proper gives way to a more legato second theme. A scherzando bridge passage leads to the recapitulation.

2 Serenade: Lento Espressivo

A short introduction leads to a sonorous theme from the middle of the band. A slightly more rhythmic central 5/8 section leads to a short cadenza-like duet for two alto saxes which re-introduces the opening of the movement.

3 Finale: Molto Vivace

A fast and furious finale, which fails to settle long enough for a real theme to develop as motivic ideas are thrown from player to player. Eventually a violently syncopated tune emerges from the middle of the band but this is interrupted by a reflective interlude. In time the faster music returns and the movement hurtles to a close.