Revised 2016. Harmonicas are pitched in A and C (Bassoons), A (Horns), C (Trumpets), and F (Trombones). Harmonica notation is approximate; players should simply blow into the instrument unless otherwise indicated, taking care to play in approximately the same octave as the other harmonica players. Recorded electronics: locate the speaker(s) behind the percussion at the back of the stage. Playback should be loud enough to reach the back of the hall yet balance with the orchestra.
Sinfonia (for Orbiting Spheres) is music in the shape of a solar system, a collection of rococo loops that twist around each other within a larger orbit. The word “sinfonia” refers to baroque works for chamber orchestra but also to the old Italian term for a hurdy-gurdy, a medieval stringed instrument with constant, wheezing drones that are cranked out under melodies played on an attached keyboard. It’s a piece that churns and roils, that inches close to the listener only to leap away at breakneck speed, in the process transforming the ensemble turns into a makeshift hurdy-gurdy, flung recklessly into space. Sinfonia (for Orbiting Spheres) was commissioned by the Los Angeles Philharmonic.
— Missy Mazzoli