Feste Romane

From Wind Repertory Project
Ottorino Respighi

Ottorino Respighi (arr. Yoshihiro Kimura)

The title of this work translates as "Roman Festivals."

General Info

Year: 1928 / 2007
Duration: c. 23:45
Difficulty: VI (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: De Haske
Cost: Score and Parts (print) - €377.99

Movements (played without pause)

1. Circenses – 4:20
2. Giubileo – 6:50
3. L'Ottobrata – 7:35
4. La Befana – 5:30


Full Score
Flute I-II-III (III doubling Piccolo)
Oboe I-II
English Horn
Bassoon I-II
Double Bassoon
A-flat Piccolo Clarinet
E-flat Soprano Clarinet
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
E-flat Alto Clarinet
B-flat Bass Clarinet
B-flat Contrabass Clarinet
B-flat Soprano Saxophone
E-flat Alto Saxophone
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
B-flat Cornet I-II
B-flat Trumpet I-II-III-IV
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II-III-IV
Euphonium I-II
String Bass
Piano (4 hands)
Percussion I-IX, including:

  • Bass Drum 
  • Crash Cymbal
  • Glockenspiel
  • Raganella (Rattle)
  • Sleigh Bell
  • Snare Drum (2)
  • Suspended Cymbal
  • Tambourine
  • Tam-tam
  • Tavolette (2)
  • Xylophone

Antiphonal Trumpet I-II-III


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

Ottorino Respighi was one of the most well known Italian composers from the beginning of the twentieth century. His style is influenced by the French impressionists, Rimsky-Korsakov and Richard Strauss, but with his very own touch. Respighi’s fame is mostly based on his instrumental works, especially the orchestral triptych of symphonic poems, which included Feste Romane. This skilful adaptation for concert band retains all the excitement of the original.

- Program Note from publisher

Roman Festivals (Italian: Feste Romane) is a symphonic poem written in 1928 by the Italian composer Ottorino Respighi. It is the third orchestral work in his "Roman trilogy", preceded by Fountains of Rome (1916) and Pines of Rome (1924). Each of the four movements depict a scene of celebration from ancient or modern Rome. It is the longest and most demanding of the trilogy, and thus it is less-often programmed than its companion pieces. Its premiere was performed by the New York Philharmonic Orchestra with conductor Arturo Toscanini in 1929.

The first movement, Circuses (Circenses), depicts the ancient contest in which gladiators battled to the death, with the sound of trumpet fanfares. Strings and woodwinds suggest the plainchant of the first Christian martyrs which are heard against the snarls of the beasts against which they are pitted. The movement ends with violent orchestral chords, complete with organ pedal, as the martyrs succumb.

Next, the Jubilee (Giubileo), portrays the every-fiftieth-year festival in the Papal tradition. Pilgrims approaching Rome catch a breath-taking view from Mt. Mario, as church bells ring in the background.

The third movement, Harvest of October (L’Ottobrata), represents the harvest and hunt in Rome. The French horn solo celebrates the harvest as bells portray love serenades. The final movement, Epiphany (La Befana), takes place in the Piazza Navona. Trumpets sound again and create a different clamour of Roman songs and dances, including a drunken reveler depicted by a solo tenor trombone.

- Program Note from Wikipedia

Italian composer Ottorino Respighi (1879 — 1936) wrote three great tone poems based around ideas relating to Rome. The first two are The Fountains of Rome, written in 1917, and The Pines of Rome, which followed in 1924. Feste Romane (Festivals of Rome), the final and most ambitious work in that trilogy, was first performed by the New York Philharmonic under the direction of Arturo Toscanini in 1929.

The first section, Circenses (Circuses), begins with the sound of trumpet fanfares depicting ancient Roman gladiators battling to the death. Strings and woodwinds then suggest the plainchant of the first Christian martyrs as they next entered the arena, heard among the snarls of ferocious beasts they will soon face. The movement ends with violent orchestral chords as the martyrs succumb.

The fourth and final section, La Befana (The Epiphany), is a musical depiction of the night before Epiphany in the Piazza Navone. A trumpet fanfare sounds above the frantic clamor of activity. The barrel-organ from a festival stand sounds and the street cries of the vendors can be heard simultaneously with the music accompanying various peasant dances, including a comic portrayal of a staggering drunk reveler by solo trombone.

- Program Note from Shujitsu Junior and Senior High School Wind Ensemble concert program, 17 December 2015


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


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Works for Winds by This Composer