Toccata Festiva

Samuel Barber

Samuel Barber (1910-1981) was born in West Chester, Pennsylvania. He wrote his first piece at age 7 and attempted his first opera at age 10. Barber entered the Curtis Institute of Music in 1924 where he studied piano and composition, as well as singing and conducting. After graduation, he devoted himself entirely to composition. 

Barber met Gian Carlo Menotti while at Curtis with whom he would form a lifelong personal and professional relationship. His music was championed by a number of renowned artists, musicians, and conductors including Vladimir Horowitz, John Browning, Martha Graham, Arturo Toscanini, Dmitri Mitropoulos, Jennie Tourel, and Eleanor Steber. His Antony and Cleopatra was commissioned to open the new Metropolitan Opera House at Lincoln Center in 1966. 

Barber is best known for his intensely lyrical "Adagio for Strings", one of the most recognizable and beloved compositions of the 20th century. 

The Toccata Festiva was composed for the inauguration of a new organ at the Academy of Music in Philadelphia. Mary Curtis Zimbalist, a friend of the composer since his time at the Curtis Institute, funded the new organ installation and also commissioned the piece. Paul Callaway, then organist and music director at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., played the organ at the premiere in September 1960, with Eugene Ormandy and the Philadelphia Orchestra.

Toccata Festiva (for Full Orchestra) by Samual Barber
  • Toccata Festiva (for Full Orchestra) by Samual Barber

Toccata Festiva (for Full Orchestra) by Samual Barber

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Includes 4 files:MP4 file with visual and aural click track; MP4 file with visual click track only; PDF score for practice. Includes 2 versions: one with the brief solo orchestral trumpet and one without (that the organ would play instead).

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