Toccata Marziale (ed Battisti)

From Wind Repertory Project
Ralph Vaughan Williams

Ralph Vaughan Williams (arr. Frank Battisti)

General Info

Year: 1924 / 2005
Duration: c. 4:50
Difficulty: V (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Boosey & Hawkes
Cost: Score and Parts - $125.00   |   Score Only - $12.95


Full Score
C Piccolo
Bassoon I-II
E-flat Soprano Clarinet
B-flat Soprano Clarinet Solo-I-II-III
B-flat Bass 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
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II
Bass Trombone
Percussion, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Snare Drum
  • Crash Cymbals
  • Triangle


In parts:

  • All, m.22: All parts diminuendo should be from 2nd eighth note
  • All, m.25: Crescendo should be last beat, not whole bar
  • Various, m.11: Crescendo notated 1 beat too early
  • Various, m.45: Crescendo eighth note early
  • Various, m.50: Diminuendo eighth note too early
  • Various, m.53: Tutti diminuendo last quarter note
  • Various, m.60: Diminuendo from beat 1
  • Upper woodwinds, m.95: Diminuendo should be last quarter note
  • Oboe, m.32: 4th semi should be E natural 7th and 9th Eb Score has E natural throughout
  • Oboe, m.111: An octave too low
  • Bassoons, m.8: Lines omitted
  • Bassoons, m.43: Editorial addition of upbeat Ab
  • Bassoons, m.137: Insert Ab anacrusis
  • Bassoon I, m.22: Should be piano not mf
  • Bassoon II, m.64: Legato ends on 2nd beat of 4th bar
  • Bassoon II, m.69: Starts on 1st beat with a D eighth note
  • Bassoon II, m.82: Should have B natural not Bb
  • E-flat Soprano Clarinet, B-flat Soprano Clarinet I, Oboe, Saxophones, m.155-End: Phrasing could be changed to fit the original
  • B-flat Soprano Clarinets, m.75: Phrasing wrong for 4 bars
  • B-flat Soprano Clarinets, m.147: Should diminuendo on last quarter note
  • B-flat Soprano Clarinet I, m.84: Second eighth note should be G# not Gb
  • B-flat Soprano Clarinet II, m.26: Has no note in this bar - col cornet 2 starts in the next bar in the original score
  • B-flat Soprano Clarinet II, m.32: 4th semi should be F#. 7th and 9th F natural (Score has F# throughout)
  • B-flat Soprano Clarinet II, m.114: Should play eighth note F# then 2 eighth note rests
  • B-flat Soprano Clarinet III, m.18: Wrong notes 2nd eighth note should be D natural, 6th should be Bb
  • E-flat Alto Saxophone, m.68: Should be tacet for 1 bar
  • B-flat Tenor Saxophone, m.8: Last note should be F not A
  • Brass, m.4: Staccato omitted in brass upbeat
  • B-flat Cornets, m.51: Piano first beat
  • B-flat Cornet I, m.103: Should be Bb not G
  • B-flat Cornet I, m.124: Should be E not G
  • B-flat Cornet II, m.123: Should have C# not natural according to piano score
  • B-flat Trumpet, m.32: Trumpet should have F# not natural (Score has F natural)
  • Horn in F IV, m.51: Should have a D instead of
  • Horn in F IV, m.124: Should have 2 bars of dotted half note A, as at 6
  • Trombone I, m.65: Should be D not C
  • Trombone I, m.67: Tacet for 1 bar
  • Trombones, m.91: Second entry should be p not pp
  • Trombones, m.113: Crescendo last quarter note
  • Bass Trombone, Euphonium, Tuba, m.32: Slur from second sixteenth note
  • Bass Trombone, m.75: Should be B not G
  • Basses, m.37-38: Should be legato 2nd & 3rd and 5th and 6th eighth notes
  • Basses, m.39-40: Should be legato 4th and 5th and then first 2 eighth notes
  • Tuba, m.54: First eighth note is G
  • Tuba, m.91: Should be p not pp though euphonium is pp
  • Tuba, m.111: Omit 2nd eighth note
  • Side Drum, m.17: Crescendo omitted
  • Side Drum, m.103: Add ruff before bar
  • Side Drum, m.155-End: Should have crescendo
  • Triangle, m.38: Rhythm should be quarter note eighth note rest quarter note eighth note rest
  • Timpani, Percussion, m.48: Forte not ff
  • Timpani, m.121: Should have eighth note on 1st beat followed by 2 eighth note rests
  • Cymbals, m.158-End: Stroke missing

Program Notes

Toccata Marziale, written in 1924, was Vaughan Williams’ second work for military and is one of the most significant contributions to the wind band literature. The word “toccata” comes from the Italian “toccare,” meaning “to touch,” hence its association with the early Baroque virtuouso keyboard pieces written by Girolamo Frescobaldi and others. Toccata Marziale is a contrapunctal masterpiece for wind ensemble, in which textures are juxtaposed in massed effects with large sections of winds and brasses. A rhythmic vigor, as suggested by the title, permeates the piece, and Vaughan Williams’s brilliant scoring reveals the fundamental properties of the band’s sonority and its instrumental virtuosity and color.

- Program Note by Frederick Fennell

Vaughan Williams is most noted for his compositions for orchestra, the theater, and chamber groups, but his two works for band, the Folk Song Suite and Toccata Marziale (both published in 1924) demonstrate his unrivaled skill in scoring for the medium. Together with the two Gustav Holst suites for band, this music forms a set which has become a traditional cornerstone of concert band literature.

Composed for the commemoration of the British Empire Exhibition of 1924, the Toccata Marziale is a first-rate work by any measurement. The opening is somewhat akin to a fanfare, the movement in triads being especially effective. Its contrapunctal texture is determined by the juxtaposition of brass and reed tonal masses, and occasional lyric entrances soon give way to the primary brilliance of the basic theme. Another effective phrase is that first sung by the euphonium and then by the cornet, a broad flowing theme of wide range most effective against the constant movement of the basic theme, which is never completely lost. Skillfully woven together into a unified whole, even though complex in rhythmic and harmonic content, the piece explores the fundamental properties of the band's sonority, its virtuosity and color, and places emphasis on fine gradations between long and short, forte and piano. Of real contrast with the Folk Song Suite, Toccata Marziale has an immense noncontrived vigor perhaps unmatched in all band literature.

- Program Note from Program Notes for Band


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State Ratings

  • Louisiana: V
  • Texas: V. Complete
  • Wisconsin: Event 3000 Concert Band Class A Standard Repertoire


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Wind Symphony (Kylie Teter, conductor) - 18 October 2023
  • Northern Illinois University (DeKalb) Wind Ensemble (Thomas Bough, conductor) – 13 October 2023
  • University of New Mexico (Albuquerque) Symphonic Band (Brett Penshorn, conductor) - 23 April 2023
  • University of North Carolina at Charlotte Wind Ensemble (Dan Fischer, conductor) – 2 December 2022
  • University of Oklahoma (Norman) Wind Symphony (William Wakefield, conductor) - 9 March 2022
  • The Ohio State University (Columbus) Symphonic Band (Scott A. Jones, conductor) – 13 February 2020
  • New Orleans (La.) Concert Band (Charles Taylor, conductor) – 14 April 2019
  • Rowan University (Glassboro, N.J.) Wind Ensemble (Joseph Higgins, conductor) – 25 October 2018
  • Indiana University (Bloomington) Symphonic Band (Eric M. Smedley, conductor) – 23 October 2018
  • United States Coast Guard Band (New London, Conn.) (Adam Williamson, conductor) – 6 May 2018
  • The Ohio State University (Columbus) Symphonic Band (Jeff Krubsack, conductor) – 6 October 2016
  • College of Saint Rose (Albany, N.Y.) Wind Ensemble - 4 May 2014

Works for Winds by This Composer

Adaptable Music

All Wind Works


  • Smith, Norman E. (2002). Program Notes for Band. Chicago: GIA Publications, pp. 606.
  • Vaughan Williams, R.; Battisti, F. (2005). Toccata Marziale [score]. Boosey & Hawkes: New York.
  • Tim Reynish Errata List