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Toccata from "L'Orfeo"

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Claudio Monteverdi

Claudio Monteverdi (arr. de Haan)

General Info

Year: 1607/2004
Duration: c. 2:00
Difficulty: II (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: De Haske Publications
Cost: Score and Parts - $87.00


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

  • Bass Drum
  • Crash Cymbals
  • Mallets (unspecified)
  • Snare Drum
  • Tenor Drum


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

Claudio Monteverdi composed this toccata as an instrumental introduction for the opera L’Orfeo (1607). According to the composer, this introduction should be played three times before the rising of the curtain. This is actually the first overture in the history of opera. The story of Orfeo, who enchanted nature with his music, is tragic, as he loses his beloved Eurydice and decides to retrieve her from the underworld. On their return journey, one glance back at her is fatal: he loses her for the second time. This arrangement for wind band is very suitable as a concert opener. The toccata is played three times just like the original. The first time it is played by a quintet consisting of two trumpets and three trombones. Various ways of performing this toccata are possible. The tension builds up more intensely if the quintet starts off stage. Eventually, these five players join the band, after which the tutti version follows two times. You can also have the brass play from the gallery during the second or third time for a double choir effect.

Program note from Publisher


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


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Works for Winds by This Composer