Macbeth Reduced Orchestration

Macbeth (1865 version)

Giuseppe Verdi

Reduced Orchestration: 1(picc)1(cor)11 1100 11111 stgs harp(optional) timps/perc

Flute/Piccolo, Oboe/Cor Anglais, Clarinet (A/B-flat), Bassoon, Horn, Trumpet, Harp (optional), Timps/Percussion, Violin I, Violin II, Viola, Cello, Double Bass

This reduced orchestration of Verdi’s Macbeth is aimed for performance using 12 or more players. The string parts can be performed with a single string quintet or with a larger string section.

The Timpani and Percussion is arranged for 1 player – a second player could be added if required. Verdi’s original harp part is included and is optional.

The score and parts have bar numbers and Ricordi rehearsal numbers.

This reduced orchestration was created during 2023/2024 and received its first performance by Mid Wales Opera on 2 March 2024 as part of MWO’s tour across Wales and the Wales/England border.

Conducted with swashbuckling verve by its music director Jonathan Lyness, who’d also prepared the 12-piece touring orchestration. It’s amazingly effective: without a full score, you wouldn’t have noticed anything missing.”

The Spectator, 30 March 2024
(Mid Wales Opera / Ensemble Cymru)

Here was the mix of pragmatism and flair that’s always been the signature style of the artistic director Richard Studer (who also designs the shows) and music director Jonathan Lyness (whose orchestral reductions are so imaginatively realized).”

Opera, June 2024
(Mid Wales Opera / Ensemble Cymru)

Lyness’s effective reduction of the orchestral score was played by twelve members of Ensemble Cymru, and conducted with his usual, unfussy control.”

Opera Now / Gramophone, 11 March 2024
(Mid Wales Opera / Ensemble Cymru)

Verdi’s conjuring of the supernatural and the diabolical in this score was effectively realised by Ensemble Cymru, with conductor Lyness – whose reduced orchestration this was – bringing an urgency to the intimations of mania.”

Guardian, 15 March 2024
(Mid Wales Opera / Ensemble Cymru)

How was it possible for an orchestra-pit ensemble, just 12-strong, to conjure much of Verdi’s lush orchestration? Under conductor Jonathan Lyness the resident chamber orchestra, Ensemble Cymru, achieved this miracle – the timpanist also playing the side-drum, and their splendid cellist generating a rich, resonant sound in those dark moments of the drama.”

The Brazen Head, 27 March 2024
(Mid Wales Opera / Ensemble Cymru)

For more information or to hire this reduced orchestration of Macbeth, please contact us.