Claudio Monteverdi composed this toccata as an instrumental introduction for the opera L'Orfeo (1607). According to the composer, this introduction should be played three times before the rising of the curtain, making it the first overture in the history of opera. The story of Orfeo, who enchanted nature with his music, is tragic, as he loses his beloved Eurydice and decides to retrieve her from the underworld. On their return journey one glance back at her is fatal: he loses her for the second time. This arrangement for wind band makes an ideal opening piece. The toccata is played three times, just like the original - the first time by a quintet (two trumpets and three trombones).