Ponchielli: Dance of the Hours


The ‘Dance of the Hours’ ballet scene (from La Gioconda) lends the opera much-needed light-relief! The ‘Day’, ‘Evening’ and ‘Night’ dances have been arranged for wind quintet.

  • Instruments : Fl. Ob. Cl.(in Bb) Hn. Bsn.
  • Difficulty : C – approx. ABRSM Grade 5
  • Duration : 5’00
  • ISMN : 979-0-708088-41-7
  • Portus Press reference : PPQ22


As famous as Verdi at the time, the Italian composer Amilcare Ponchielli enjoyed great success in the latter half of the nineteenth century with his opera La Gioconda, from which The Dance of the Hours originates.  The Dance of the Hours is a ballet which depicts the different times of the day: morning, day, evening and night, alternating between delicate and rousing music – a light-hearted distraction from an otherwise tragic opera.  Here, morning has been omitted.

The Dance of the Hours was used to great effect in Disney’s Fantasia (1940), complete with tutu-clad ballet dancing hippos, and, perhaps even more famously, in the 1963 Grammy-winning “Hello Muddah, Hello Fadduh” sung by the American satirist Allan Sherman.

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