The Troubadour (Thornhill)
On: April 21, 2016   |   By: ryan   |   Under: Scores   |   Comments: No Comment


“The Troubadour” is Gil’s arrangement of one of the movements (“Il vecchio castello” or “The Old Castle”) of Modest Mussorgsky’s “Pictures at an Exhibition.” It was written for and recorded by the Claude Thornhill Orchestra in 1947. It is a brilliant arrangement, and shows Gil’s unique ability to take a melody and adapt it and make it his own. I do want to warn you, this arrangement is really difficult – it’s in a difficult key (G# minor), and there are a passages that are tricky, especially in the woodwind parts. This arrangement definitely needs accomplished woodwind players to pull off well. That said, if your band is up for the challenge, it’s an extremely rewarding piece to perform, and sounds amazing live.

As with all of Gil’s music, close attention needs to be paid to the instrumentation, as it rarely resembles a standard big band. The instrumentation for “The Troubadour” is as follows:

3 Flutes (Flute 1 doubles Piccolo)
5 Reeds:

Reed 1: Clarinet
Reed 2: Clarinet, C Flute, Alto Sax
Reed 3: Clarinet, Tenor Sax
Reed 4: Bass Clarinet, Tenor Sax
Reed 5: Bass Clarinet, Baritone Sax

2 French Horns
3 Trumpets
2 Trombones
1 Tuba
3 Rhythm (Gtr./Bass/Dms.)


In addition to the score and parts, you will also receive supplemental videos in which I explain the unique history behind my discovery of this “lost” work as well as how I rehearse each of these pieces. I will let you know the potential tripping spots and the way to make each piece come alive. I’ve worked on bringing this music back to life for a very long time, and it is very easy for me to now predict the areas that need addressing. I am confident that I can help you bring this music to the highest level with your own group.