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Raff, Joachim Joachim Raff
Switzerland Switzerland
(1822 - 1882)
171 sheet music
51 MP3

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Raff, Joachim: Sinfonietta for Winds & Strings

Sinfonietta for Winds & Strings
Opus 188
Joachim Raff

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Composer :Joachim RaffRaff, Joachim (1822 - 1882)
Instrumentation :

Winds & String Orchestra

Style :


Arranger :
Publisher :
Joachim RaffMagatagan, Mike (1960 - )
Date :1873
Copyright :Public Domain
Joseph Joachim Raff was born on 27 May 1822 in the small town of Lachen, on the shores of lake Zürich in Switzerland. He was a good violinist, but only a competent pianist and by no means a virtuoso, although he had given a couple of recitals whilst in his early 20s in Switzerland. He didn't compose at the piano either, preferring to use it only to check a passage once he had composed it. Nonetheless, his first 59 compositions were for the piano and he continued to write many pieces for the instrument even once he had established his reputation in much larger forms. By a large margin, Raff wrote more music for solo piano than for any other medium.

The lack of evidence to the contrary seems to indicate that Raff himself coined the word Sinfonietta for his op.188 in F. It has since been commonly used for works such as this - "little" or "light" symphonies and Raff's piece pre-dates the next work (by Rimsky-Korsakov) by seven years. The Sinfonietta was popular in its day and that no doubt helped the use of the term amongst composers.

He wrote the piece in Wiesbaden in Spring 1873 during the period which was, as his daughter Helene wrote, "the cultural high point of his life". The Lenore Symphony had recently capped even the success of his "Forest" Symphony and everywhere he was fêted and honoured. However, the next work he completed after the Sinfonietta - his 6th. Symphony - got a rather cooler reception and marked the start of what became a period of artistic crisis for the composer.

Isolated works are rare in Raff's canon. In contrast with his eleven Symphonies, six Operas, eight String Quartets, four Piano Trios and five Violin Sonatas there is only one Sinfonietta and only one other (earlier) piece for wind band. This is unlikely to signal any feeling by Raff that the work was a failure, however. It was virtually unique in its time and was popular from the first. Raff understood the financial imperative of getting his works performed. From a commercial point of view there may have been little point in writing another whilst the original one was doing so well in an uncontested field. From an artistic standpoint, it is difficult to see how he could have bettered his first attempt.

Written for pairs of flutes, oboes, clarinets, bassoons and French horns, it was clearly intended by Raff to be regarded as something greater than the wind serenades which had been popular since Mozart's time. Neither his motivation for writing the work, nor the occasion of its premiere is recorded, but it was published in November 1874 by Siegel of Liepzig and Raff himself also arranged all four movements for piano four hands.

The Sinfonietta's popularity endured and it was one of the works which continued to keep its composer's name before audiences, long after most of his music was forgotten. This is no doubt partly due to the comparative dearth of quality repertoire written for small wind bands, but it must also be because of the unfailing wit, vivacity and good humour of the music itself. It retains the traditional symphonic movement structure and is truly a "small symphony". Throughout, Raff employs his trademarks of counterpoint and classic musical forms but these never interfere with the work's pervading atmosphere of joi de vivre.

Source: ( ).

Although originally scored for wind ensemble (and later for Piano 4-Hands), I created this Interpretation of the Sinfonietta (Opus 188) for Winds (Flute, Oboe, Bb Clarinet, English Horn, French Horn & Bassoon) & Strings (2 Violins, Viola & Cello).
Sheet central :Sinfonietta (2 sheet music)
Added by magataganm the 2019-09-18

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This sheet music is part of the collection of magataganm :
Flute Arrangements
Sheet music list :
› Élévation from 30 Pièces pour Orgue for Flute & Strings
› "Matribus suis dixerunt" for Woodwind Quintet
› "2 Alma Redemptoris Mater" for Woodwinds & Strings - Woodwinds and String quintet
› "3 Gradualia" for Winds & Strings - Winds & String Orchestra
› "A Christmas Air" for Flutes & Harp - Flute and Harp
› "A Cup of Tea" Reel for Flute - Flute solo
› "A Dieu Celle" for Woodwind Sextet - Wind Sextet
› "A Pretty Maid Milking the Cow" for Flute, Oboe & Harp - Flute, Oboe, Harp
› "A Swiss Melody" for Flute Quartet - Flute Quartet
› "Abendlied" for Woodwind Quartet - Wind quartet

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