Airs of the Court

From Wind Repertory Project
Ottorino Respighi

Ottorino Respighi (trans. Robert Longfield)

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Subtitle: From Ancient Airs and Dances, Suite No. 3 by Jean Baptiste Besard

General Info

Year: 1932 / 2009
Duration: c. 6:55
Difficulty: III-1/2 (see Ratings for explanation)
Original Medium: Orchestra
Publisher: Hal Leonard
Cost: Score and Parts (print) - $75.00   |   Score Only (print) - $7.50


1. Andante cantabile
2. Allegretto
3. Vivace
4. Lento con grande espressione
5. Allegro vivace
6. Vivacissimo


Full Score
C Piccolo
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
E-flat Alto Clarinet
B-flat Bass Clarinet
E-flat Alto Saxophone I-II
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
B-flat Trumpet I-II-III
Horn in F I-II
Trombone I-II
String Bass
Percussion I-II

(percussion detail desired)


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

From the famous Ancient Airs and Dances, the distinctive melodies from Renaissance composer Jean-Baptiste Besard are featured in this second movement of the third suite. This marvelous adaptation for band retains the authenticity of the original in an attractive yet very playable and unique setting.

- Program Note from publisher

Respighi’s love of the music of antiquity and his genius for orchestration are evident in his three suites entitled Ancient Airs and Dances. In these suites, music from the Renaissance and Baroque is recast in Respighi’s modern, brilliant, and colorful sonorities. Airs of the Court is the second movement of the Suite No. 3, composed in 1932 for string orchestra. In this movement Respighi uses six songs from Jean Baptiste Besard’s (1567-1625) ballet of the same name. The songs are “It is sad to be in love with you” (Andante cantabile), “Farewell forever, shepherdess” (Allegretto), “Lovely eyes that see clearly” (Vivace), “The Skiff of Love” (Lento con grande espressione), “What divinity touches my soul” (Allegro vivace), and “If it is for my innocence that you love me” (Vivacissimo). Respighi’s combination of the old with the new gives this music its unique charm and appeal.

- Program Note from University of North Carolina, Greensboro, University Band concert band, 2 October 2018


State Ratings

  • Kansas: IV
  • Oregon: VA
  • Tennessee: IV


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • Catskill Valley (Oneonta, N.Y.) Wind Ensemble (Andrew Pease, conductor) - 19 November 2023
  • University of North Carolina, Greensboro, University Band (Pamela L. Klena, conductor) – 2 October 2018
  • Callanwode Concert Band (Atlanta, Ga.) (Glenn Moore , conductor) – 30 September 2018
  • Charlottesville Municipal Band – 2013

Works for Winds by This Composer