Dias de los Muertos

From Wind Repertory Project
Eugenio Toussaint

Eugenio Toussaint (trans. Armand Hall)

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This work bears the designation Opus 28.

General Info

Year: 1997 / 2013
Duration: c. 28:00
Difficulty: (see Ratings for explanation)
Original Medium: Orchestra
Publisher: Unknown
Cost: Score and Parts - Unknown


1. Tina en el Rio – 5:40
2. Despedida u Última Cena– 5:25
3. Procesíon – 4:50
4. El Viaje – 4:30
5. Dejando Casa - 3:05
6. La Ciudad – 3:00


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None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

Days of the Dead (Dias de los Muertos) is a ballet in two acts commissioned by Ballet Arizona. It was premiered November 1, 1997, by the Phoenix Symphony and Ballet Arizona. The piece tells the story of the Arteaga family, who is forced to cross the border to the United States. The first act is set in Mexico, while the second act is set in the United States. This transcription for winds takes six scenes from the ballet and sets the music for winds.

1. Tina en el Rio – Tina on the River. Momentarily freed from the chores of preparing the nixtamal, the corn to be ground into meal, carting the fire wood, and taking care of her snotty-nosed brothers, Tina delights in running around the wet grass in the village of Xochiltepec. There, romping with the rooster, the pig and other friendly beasts, she’s distracted from her hunger and weariness.

2. Despedida u última cena – Last supper and goodbye. Her play break, however, is over in a flash. Her father, Cayetano, arrives, and the family gathers around for a meager supper. It’s obvious that the land of their forebears can’t feed this generation of Artegas and they have no choice but to head north in search of a more promising future. That’s what Cayetano tells them. They will leave for a place with the strange sounding name of Avongate, where some of their relatives have been living for several years.

3. Procesión – Procession. When they begin their journey, the Artegas meet up with a funeral procession that is accompanying Benito’s corpse to the graveyard. As is the custom, the casket is covered with messages addressed to the other world. Tina wants to send a message too. The family’s own dead relatives should be told that the Artegas are going north, so they’ll be able to come to visit them on the Days of the Dead as they’ve done every year. But how will dead souls who’ve never been outside their village be able to find their way? They’ll be guided by a trail that the family will leave along the way.

5. Dejando Casa – Leaving Home. Even in Avongate Tina has little time for play. She has to go to work. Her mother gives her a coat, something she needed in Xochiltepec, but which is absolutely necessary here. Winter has given warning of its approach: its closeness can be felt in their bodies and its brilliant whiteness begins to appear in the distance.

6. La Ciudad – The City. Tina walks amidst the deafening sounds of the city. Although she tries to remain calm in order to get where she’s going, she feels enveloped by the multitudes, a whirlwind of agitated faces, shopping bags and more shopping bags, entire families living on the streets, and police who frighten her with their incomprehensible words and gestures.

- Program Note from Michigan State University concert program, 18 April 2014


None discovered thus far.

State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • Arizona State University (Tempe) Wind Symphony (Jamal Duncan, conductor; ASU DANCE & CONDER/Dance) - 15 September 2022
  • Michigan State University (East Lansing) Musique 21 concert program, 18 April 2014 *Transcription Premiere Performance*

Works for Winds by this Composer