Sinfonia Antiqua is a new work for symphonic band in four movements, written in older styles. The composition uses forms like the baroque dances of the Chaconne or Pavane and refers to the classical symphony movements of a Scherzo or Rondo. “Antiqua” means old, but the music is very fresh in spirit, full of energy and enjoys lots of freedom harmonically. Written for mostly wind instruments and percussion, all four movements are in minor or major keys with five flats, Bb minor or Db major. These more unusual keys or tonal centers produce a very dark but beautiful sound, especially when played by wind instruments, which are tuned in flat keys mostly.
The Chaconne is a variation form based on a series of harmonies, where the figuration becomes denser with the development. The lively Scherzo contains a very dissonant, biting Trio (middle part), that’s inspired by Bruckner. As a slow movement, the Pavane isn’t so much a dance anymore. It is very melodious and becomes totally impressionistic in its rubato middle section. The Rondo opens as a fugue -another famous baroque form- but continues with different stylistic variations, while the main theme also varies. It culminates into an ostinato, that builds like another Chaconne with a chorale and woodwind figures on top.