Grand Quartet from Rigoletto
Composed by Giuseppe Verdi
For Woodwind Quintet
Transcribed by Don Stewart
Published by Trillenium Music Company
Includes score and parts
Flute, Oboe, Clarinet in Bb, Horn in F, and Bassoon
Verdi is ranked among the greatest masters of Italian opera, and always wrote very well for the winds. Of course, he made no pieces specifically for the wind quintet. If he had, perhaps it would have been much like what is offered here. This transcription was performed as early as 1969, and was especially successful as part on a summer 'Pops' program in 1971. The audience response was often startling, with standing and cheering like in the opera house. The piece makes a fine impact.
The woodwinds can and should 'sing' and have the necessity to do so here. The composer's original key was first used, but we found that it works best up a step, ending in Eb major. This requires a bit of 'preparation' on the part of the flute player. I hope you enjoy this version of a justly famous operatic excerpt.