Venetian Spells

From Wind Repertory Project
Martin Ellerby

Martin Ellerby

General Info

Year: 1984
Duration: c. 15:00
Difficulty: V (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Studio Music
Cost: Score and Parts - $198.75   |   Score Only - $34.75


1. Concertante (Antonio's Allegro)
2. Pas de Deux (Igor's Lament)
3. Vesters (Claudio's Sunset)
4. Festivo (Giovanni's Canon)


Full Score
C Piccolo
Flute I-II
Oboe I-II
Bassoon I-II
E-flat Soprano Clarinet
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
B-flat Bass Clarinet
E-flat Alto Saxophone I-II
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
B-flat Trumpet I-II-III-IV
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II-III
Euphonium I-II
Tuba I-II
String Bass
Percussion I-II-III-IV, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Bongos (2)
  • Clashed (Crash) Cymbals
  • Drum Set
  • Guiro
  • Orchestra Bells
  • Snare Drum
  • Suspended Cymbal
  • Tam-Tam
  • Tambourine
  • Tenor Drum
  • Triangle
  • Tubular Bells (Chimes)
  • Vibraphone
  • Whip
  • Xylophone


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

Venetian Spells was commissioned by the eminent British band conductor Timothy Reynish in celebration of his 60th birthday. The work was premiered in 1998 by the Edinburgh Concert Band at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, United Kingdom.

The work is cast in four movements, each of which pays musical homage to a composer associated with the city of Venice. The first movement, Antonio's Allegro, contains sections of music which are reminiscent of the Baroque composer Antonio Vivaldi, who was born in Venice. The second movement emulates the style of the great Russian composer Igor Stravinsky, who is buried in the island cemetery of San Michele in Venice, along with his friend and collaborator, the impresario Sergei Diaghilev. The two men teamed up to create the three great Stravinsky ballets, The Firebird, Petrouchka, and The Rite of Spring. Ellerby cleverly quotes a famous theme from Petrouchka right at the end of this movement, which is primarily cast in the form of a waltz.

The third movement is dedicated to the Renaissance composer Claudio Monteverdi, who spent the most productive years of his compositional life in Venice as the music director at St. Mark's Basilica, and died in Venice as well, in the year 1643. This is a lovely and delicate movement for woodwinds only. As Ellerby writes, "The work's slow movement evokes a church organ playing in the early evening. Although the style is not that of Monteverdi, the spirit is."

The final movement is dedicated to Giovanni Gabrieli, the foremost composer of the Venetian School and also a music director at St. Mark's prior to Monteverdi. The only thing about the last movement that really harkens to Gabrieli's style is the extensive use of canonical imitation (think of singing "row, row, row your boat" around a campfire) throughout the movement. According to Ellerby, "The finale is a celebration of the great city in a festival time ... it builds to an epic conclusion of which Gabrieli would have been thoroughly ashamed!"

- Program Note from Knightwind Ensemble (Milwaukee, Wisc.)


State Ratings

  • Louisiana: V
  • Texas: V. Complete
  • Virginia: VI


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Works for Winds by This Composer