Sunday, October 30, 2011

Modest Mussorgsky - Night On Bald Mountain

All Hallow's Eve is followed by All Saint's Day.  This juxtaposition of the diabolical and the blessed is only dimly remembered in today's Halloween festivities.  In earlier times, it was a much more serious affair.

By the 1860s it was less serious than olden times, but the great Russian composer Modest Mussorgsky used the device of a Witch's Sabbath to channel the anti-establishment bacchanalian rebellion of his artistic community.

Walt Disney took this, and paired it with Ave Maria in his 1940 Fantasia film.  It may be the musical pinnacle of All Hallow's Eve/All Saint's Day.

Mussorgsky's rebellion caused him to burn brightly, but also to burn out early.  By the agen of 42, he had drank himself to death.  Much of his music was arranged after his death by friends such as Rimsky-Korsakov or, as in this case, Leopold Stokowski.


DaddyBear said...

That was always my favorite part of that movie as a child.

Guffaw in AZ said...

(Bugs Bunny cartoon 'Opera Bugs')

Terrific music.