Nocturne and toccata

Kevin Lau
Kevin Lau
Composition Date: 2012
Duration: 00:10:00
Genre: Orchestra / Large Ensembles, Chamber Orchestra (10 to 20)


Instrumentation Set Number 1:
  • 1 x Flute
  • 1 x Oboe
  • 1 x Clarinet
  • 1 x Bassoon
  • 1 x Harp
  • 2 x Violin
  • 1 x Viola
  • 1 x Violoncello
  • 1 x Double bass
Instrumentation Set Number 2:
  • 1 x Chamber orch.
Click here to download full work (14.02 Mb - Not printable)

Programme Note:
The title, Nocturne and Toccata, is meant to pay tribute to the two-part narratives of certain historical forms—such as “Prelude and Fugue,” or “Introduction and Allegro”—while also evoking, and at times contradicting, the historical associations of each. Of course, the nocturne and the toccata not only hail from different periods of the past, but have also evolved in entirely distinct ways. By placing both in a contemporary context, disembodied from their roots and containing material that pushes beyond the scope of their original associations, I am hoping to call attention to a kind of ‘tyranny of form’—whereupon certain ideas are forced into the confines of limited, and eventually insufficient, categories—and the resulting tension between form and content.

At a more basic level, the nocturne refers to ‘music of the night’—which is to say music which emerges from the darkness of the unknown, the hidden place beneath the everyday surface of things. Aggressive and despairing ideas eventually converge into a rhythmically propulsive, machine-like discourse: this is the toccata portion of the work. Towards the end of the piece, there is a moment of luminous tranquillity which is perhaps suggestive of the breaking of dawn; but this finale carries with it a dual sense of ecstasy and existential dread.

Premiere Information:
Rolston Hall
Conductor: Joel Sachs, conductor


  • Call Number:
  • MI 1200 L36no
  • Genre:
  • Orchestra / Large Ensembles, Chamber Orchestra (10 to 20)
  • Date of Acquisition:
  • January 17, 2013
  • Type:
  • Print-music, Published by CMC
  • Physical Description:
  • 1 score (90 p.) ;
    90 Pages
    Height: 28 cm
    Width: 22 cm
    Parts page count: 63
    10 parts ([63] p.) ;
    Height: 28 cm
    Width: 22 cm
  • Additional Information:

Request a Repertoire Consultation
Suggest Modification for this Record

Available For:

  • Loan
  • Purchase
  • Rental


Click here to listen to Nocturne and toccata in Centrestreams.

Available Products for this piece:

TitleDetailsPriceAdd this Product
Nocturne and toccata: Score
(downloadable PDF)
Nocturne and toccata by Kevin Lau (Score)
Printed on demand
Nocturne and toccata You can obtain a paper copy of this work for:
  • Loan (free)
  • Rental
by clicking the ADD TO REQUEST LIST button to the right
Copies of this work are available for loan from: Toronto, Montréal, Calgary, Vancouver