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Recorded by the brass section of The English Northern Philharmonia conducted by Paul Daniel 1994. ASV CD DCA 90
The first movement is in a loose variation form on a majestic but sombre theme.
The second movement makes use of different brass mutes forming a backcloth to a theme for solo flugelhorn
The third movement is a rapid scherzo of answering phrases between trombones and trumpets, with a rich chordal ecntral section.
n the final movement the theme of the first movement reappears in the major key and leads to a march-like Rondo, whose last statement is treated as a canon
Composer's note: This work came about through the enthusiam of BBC radio producer Jim Parr for the Philip Jones Brass Ensemble. Jim Parr admired my music and generously supported it from 1976-1982. Sinfonietta is the most extended new work to be composed for the group and is dedicated to him.
Shortly after I signed with Faber in 1983 they decided to publish 'Sinfonietta' but Publishing Director Martin Kingsbury insisted it be shortened by 3 minutes since there were 'too many pages.' Performers not surprisingly found the work unsatisfactory and I insisted it be put back to its former glory. A paste-up was made by Faber but it was not fully re-published in correct form until 2004 by my own publishing company Highbridge Music.
|10th June 2019||Sinfonietta Brass Ensemble, Stockholm, directed by Eirik Bernhard Steins, St. Goran's, Stockholm, Sweden|
|19th July 2015||Presented by Michael Leighton Jones, 'Sinfonietta' will be the centrepiece in a spectacular for brass at St John's church East Malvern, Melbourne, Australia.|
|8th December 2007||Prime Brass, Linton Village College,Cambridgeshire, 7.30pm|
|5th May 1985||Philip Jones Brass Ensemble, Queen Elizabeth Hall
Farewell performance by the PJBE attended by the great Harry Mortimer CBE who suggested the adaptation of the work for the British Brass Band Open and a new name 'Fusions'.
'The four movements are extremely well written for the instruments, demanding much virtuosity, for example, in the brisk Scherzo---this is admirably fluent, well-balanced music.'
Stephen Pettitt, The Times, 27/1/1986
Zsolt Djorko used a resourceful palette of 'effects'...but the Sinfonietta of Howard Blake, though more conservative in idiom and structure, sounded distinctly brassier in conception, with the helter-skelter moto perpetuo movements cannily balanced by some bluesy 'three in the morning' writing. It certainly seemd to please the audience whose rapturous applause was rewarded by an encore...
Richard Morrison [reviewing the farewell concert of the Philip Jones Brass Ensemble at the QEH], the Times, 5/11/1985