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A Night On Bald Mountain


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I saw a notice on an American-based organ discussion group for this arrangement of Moussorgsky's orchestral piece and thought it might be fun to try out for an extended Halloween voluntary so I coughed up US$14 via PayPal and downloaded the 28-page pdf from Mikune Music last night. I'll put a few first impressions here as a kind of mini review.


The arrangement is mostly competent. I haven't compared it to the original but my guess is that it is in general quite faithful. I think the arranger has the American symphonic organ in mind, judging by the registration indications which include Chimes, Harp, Gt. Trem., 4' Celestes, Gt. sub- and super-octave couplers, Crescendo Pedal. The manual compass frequently extends above top G and there are at least 2 top Ds which, as far as I am aware, only exist on the Atlantic City organ and maybe some theatre instruments. Some hand stretches are beyond my (average) reach including a rh dotted-minim chord C-A-E with a trill on the E. What I consider unacceptable is the, frankly, lamentable standard of the computer engraving. There seems to have been no proof-reading involved in the preparation of the score which has © 2008 on the first page so plenty of time to make corrections. There are far too many wrong notes, ambiguous accidentals, misplaced slurs, ties, clefs and other symbols, and vertical misalignments making rhythms impossible to read. Most glaringly, 5 systems near the end have the right hand in the bass clef where it should obviously be in the treble clef.


I suspect I won't even bother taping the pages together so I can play this on the organ. The $14 price tag is a special offer; at some point it will revert to the full price of $28.

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