The Janacek Sinfonietta is a thrilling piece both to hear and to see. For trumpet fans it is an awesome experience. The composer requires no fewer than 9 trumpets in the piece and throws in a couple of bass trumpets for good measure. You can recognize the bass trumpets by their sheer size: they are much bigger than the usual B flat or C trumpets. Some other unusual instruments in the brass section are the two tenor or Wagner tubas. Wagner essentially invented them and Bruckner used them in his late symphonies.
Czech composer Leos Janacek was a great original and this 1925 composition was one of his best. The performance in our video by Pierre Boulez and the BBC Symphony at the Proms is first-rate too.
- Paul E. Robinson