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In the summer of 1829, Felix Mendelssohn undertook a walking tour of Scotland with his friend, the poet Carl Klingemann. They also sailed through the Hebrides; upon arriving at Staffa, Klingemann wrote: "A greener roar of waves surely never rushed into a stranger cavern [Fingal’s Cave]-its many pillars made it look like the inside of an immense organ, black and resounding, and absolutely without purpose, and quite alone, the wide grey sea within and without." As soon as he got back to land, Mendelssohn wrote down the opening theme.
I have used the Breitkopf & Hartel score to arrange this revised version. Mendelssohn’s scoring sounds much like organ registration and provides great contrapuntal clarity when treated as such. This clarity can be kept even without strings, although the textures must differ. My new choice of key (C minor concert) allows the winds to use fewer side keys and produce smoother trills, tremolos, and legato.
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