Sunday, October 30, 2011
Modest Mussorgsky - Night On Bald Mountain
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.