The Organ

Camille Saint-Saëns: Prelude to Le Déluge Opus 45

Camille Saint-Saëns:
Prelude to Le Déluge Opus 45
Arranged by Alexander Guilmant,
edited by David Patrick
Fitzjohn Music Publications, £5:50 + p&p

This is the latest publication from Fitzjohn Publications, who have made an enviable reputation in bringing out in scholarly, easy-to-read and inexpensively well-prod­uced editions much worthwhile music from a variety of composers which for one reason or another has been unjustly neglected.

Camille Saint-Saëns’ Le Déluge is an oratorio on the Biblical subject of the Flood, written in 1875 for soloists, chorus and orchestra. It made a strong impression when it was first heard in Paris in March of the following year. Saint-Saëns’ friend and contemporary, Alexander Guilmant, originally transcribed the prelude to the work as an organ solo for a three-manual instrument. In this new edition, David Patrick has produced a version of Guil­mant’s arrangement for two manuals, with suggestions for registration. The result has been to bring this (approximately) six min­ute work, of nobly restrained character, within the reach of all organists. It is not difficult, and would make a striking and little-known addition to any programme. The printing and presentation, as with all editions from this publishing house, is very clear.

Robert Matthew-Walker