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.

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Claudio Monteverdi
Concert band
  • Vielen Dank für das wunderbare Wochenende und die Zeit, die Sie mit unseren Kindern in Nienburg an der Weser verbracht haben. Auch für "unser" Weserlied herzlichen Dank! 

    Ulrike Jessenberger
  • Dank u wel voor deze prachtige Missa Brevis. Ons koor, gemengd koor Bellissimo uit Heemskerk) gaat deze mis uitvoeren in het voorjaar 2016. Ikzelf heb de oefenbestanden gemaakt met Virtual Singer met Real Voices en ik vind het zo mooi dat ik bijna niet kan stoppen met luisteren.

    GertJan Moen
  • Thanks to many fine moments on Youtube with incredibly beautiful music! Concerto D'Amore and La Storia are favorites but there is MUCH more too .. 

    SigbkØrn Ness