Janáček's Sinfonietta reduced, but critical!

Reading time: 2 min. Leoš Janáček Heinz Stolba

The first performance of Janáček’s Sinfonietta in this reduced version will take place on 05.10. in Zagreb in Croatia under Hans Graf and Zagreb Philharmonic Orchestra. Another performance will take place on 26.10. in Gävle in Sweden.

"This reduced version of Sinfonietta is based on Jiří Zahrádka’s new critical edition of the work. The motivation to prepare a new reduced version was to retain the festive effect of the fanfares at the beginning and end of the work, despite avoiding a separately positioned, additional group of brass instruments as prescribed in the original. In contrast to earlier reduced versions, in the present version all passages that were intended for the separate group of brass instruments in the original version are also entirely played by brass instruments. While a total of 25 brass instruments were required to perform the original version, in the present reduced version there are only 12. Moreover, two additional woodwinds were also cut down on, reducing the original number of wind instruments from 37 to 22, without significantly impacting the sonic result. In addition, the fanfares in the first movement and at the end of the last movement are intended to be performed while standing, which should largely compensate for the fact that the musicians cannot be separately positioned.

It is beyond doubt that Janáček’s original composition with the additional brass instruments positioned separately from the orchestra produces an extraordinary effect. Entirely in keeping with the original idea, the present reduced version now makes it possible to perform this marvellous work with normal orchestral instrumentation without impacting the festive character of the fanfares or reducing the overall effect." (Heinz Stolba)


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