www.johnwilliams.org The John Williams Web Pages
  Compositions: Concert Hall  

Sinfonietta for Wind Ensemble
Compositions: Concert Hall

Symphonic works
Vocal works

Composed in 1968 and recorded in 1970 by Donald Hunsberger and the Eastman Wind Ensemble, John Williams' Sinfonietta is in three movements (marked Lento assai, Lento and Molto allegro) and scored for large orchestral wind section: piccolo, 4 flutes, 3 oboes, English horn, E-flat clarinet, 3 B-flat clarinets, bass clarinet, 3 bassoons, contrabassoon, 6 horns, 4 C trumpets, 4 trombones, tuba, harp, piano/celesta, large percussion battery (a minimum of 6 players) and 3 contrabasses.

Donald Hunsberger's jacket notes for the LP recording of the Sinfonietta note that the work

is characterized by striking vertical sonorities and long melodic lines, which in turn are contrasted with subtle jazz inflections.  Williams utilized tight fugal writing creating tension and release through his apt use of the instruments of each family.  The three-movement Sinfonietta provides yet another forward step in wind composition; unrelenting in its technical demands on performers, the work provides a challenge to the listener by the means of the tension maintained throughout the work.   

DGG 2530 063

The Eastman Wind Ensemble recording of this work was released by Deutsche Grammophon on LP (DGG 2530 063) in 1972.  The album, which also features works of Mayuzumi and Penderecki, has been recently reissued on CD in Japan by Tower Records (Tower Records Vintage Collection No. 8, PROA-24).

Sheet Music

A 66-page study score was published by MCA Music (18106-044).


"Contemporary music for wind ensemble," Stephen Plaistow
Gramophone, September 1972, 50:505



Page last modified
July 22, 2006
home | news | compositions | recordings | reference
The John Williams Web Pages