Claudio Monteverdi (1567-1643)

Full Band arrangement by: Brian Harris

A literal transcription of the rousing fanfare that opens the famous 1607 opera. Also available for brass ensemble.

L'Orfeo is one of the earliest extant manuscripts to specify an exact instrumentation. This wonderful piece, for five brass and optional percussion, features a flexible instrumentation. A great historic work for teaching and enjoying Renaissance-style brass music.

Medium; Grade 3  

See the full score as you listen to the music.

Sound files: 
$30 U.S. (plus shipping) for full score, parts, and site-license

Extra full scores are $2 U.S. (no additional shipping charge to above order).

About 2 minutes, 20 seconds.
  • Impressive for opening a concert (consider an antiphonal performance)
  • Lowest voices simply drone whole notes (can use less-mature players; see score sample above)
  • use of mutes for brass (on second repeat) changes tone color
  • Use of percussion part is optional
  • Conductor score contains historical performance information and a complete synopsis of the opera
  • Rhythmically-rich parts for top three voices
  • Articulated 16th-notes for Horn (repeated pitch)
  • KEY and RANGES:
    B-flat major. 

    Trumpet 1 frequently to G at top of staff; plays one A above that. All other parts are within easy range demands


    Originally set for five like-instruments (similar to today's valve-less trumpet/bugle), this setting is scored for full band as follows:

    - Voice 1 in Flute, Oboe, Clarinet 1 and Trumpet 1 parts
    - Voice 2
    in Clarinet 2, Alto Sax and Trumpet 2 parts
    - Voice 3 in Clarinet 3, Horn, and Trombone 1 parts
    - Voice 4 and 5 (drone whole notes) in all other parts
    See score sample above.

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