Budapest’s mighty organ ringing out ‘Hall of the Mountain King’ is a terrifying sound

4 September 2020, 14:38 | Updated: 8 September 2020, 13:15

Grieg played on the organ at Müpa Budapest is terrifying
Grieg played on the organ at Müpa Budapest is terrifying. Picture: scottbrothersduo/YouTube

By Maddy Shaw Roberts

Every organist needs this as their entrance music.

We’re calling it now: there is no more ominous sound than the music of Edvard Grieg, bellowing from one of Europe’s largest organs.

In the video below, organist Jonathan Scott plays his solo organ transcription of the great ‘In the Hall of the Mountain King’, from the Norwegian composer’s Peer Gynt Suite, at the organ of Béla Bartók National Concert Hall in Hungary.

From its tentative opening to that furious, trollish finale, a greater piece to build drama and tension you will not find.

And played on the Palace of Arts Budapest’s great organ, with all its 92 stops and five manuals, the music fills the hall with a wall of sound impressive enough to rival any symphony orchestra.

Read more: Elgar’s Nimrod on Asia’s largest pipe organ is a life-affirming experience >

The organ itself is an absolute chonker, to say the least. It weighs around 38,000 kg and is built inside a 918 cubic meter volume space. On the outside, its façade into the concert hall has a surface of 155 square metres.

The hall’s acoustics are phenomenal and, we are quite sure, done no justice whatsoever through in-ear headphones.

We can’t wait to hear music like this in person again…

Download the score for Jonathan’s organ transcription here >