Tag Archives: Fantasia

MUSSORGSKY (arr. Stokowski) Night on Bald Mountain: great compositions/performances

MUSSORGSKY (arr. Stokowski) Night on Bald Mountain

Here is Leopold Stokowski‘s (1882-1977) transcription of Modest Mussorgsky‘s “Night on Bald Mountain”. This is the version most famously featured as the ending sequence of the Disney film “Fantasia” (1948), and that most famously caused quite an uproar among movie-goers due to the demonic imagery used in the aforementioned clip.

Stokowski was a prodigy along the lines of Maazel, entering into the Royal Academy of Music to study composition and conducting at the age of merely 13. During his long span as one of the most prominent and important conductors (not to mention one of the greatest) he was actually a very controversial figure. What many people probably don’t know is that Stokowski was a great champion of contemporary music, giving the U.S. and/or world premieres of works by Elgar, Vaughn Williams, Prokofiev, Schoenberg, Hovhaness, Copland, Barber, Berg, Feldman and other contemporary composers. He is also very important to the history of modern concert practice as well, popularizing the batonless technique of conducting, as well as inventing and popularizing the “pops concert” and the modern chairing of a symphony orchestra. He was able to produce what was then referred to as “the Stokowski Sound”, although what is now called “the Philly Sound” (one of the many, illustrious orchestras he was resident conductor for), and was the greatest influence on many conductors proceeding him, particularly Leonard Bernstein. His transcriptions and editing of works were considered uncoif at the time, a practice that had long since become outdated as printed music became more available, but they are now one of the things he is best-known for, particularly this and his orchestration of Bach’s Toccata en Fugue in D Minor BWV 565.

Performed here in 1966 by the London Symphony Orchestra.

Leopold Stokowski “La Cathédrale engloutie” Debussy (1968): great compositions/performances

Fantasia on Hungarian Folk Melodies AKA XIV.Hungarian Rhapsody for Piano & Orchestra S123

Franz Liszt (1811-1886)
Fantasia on Hungarian Folk Melodies
AKA XIV.Hungarian Rhapsody for Piano & Orchestra S123
Oravecz György (piano)
Budapest Symphony Orchestra
Kocsár Balázs (cond.)
Recording Year: 1995

00:00 Andante mesto
01:55 Adagio
02:41 Allegro molto
02:57 Allegro eroico
04:40 Piu animato
05:22 Molto adagio, quasi fantasia
06:09 Moderato.Fest.
07:00 Allegretto a la Zingarese
09:00 Molto animato
09:50 Adagio
10:33 Vivace assai
12:45 Frisch
12:50 Prestissimo

Other recommended live-video with Oravecz György:
Tom & Jerry – The Cat Concerto from Hungary/Budapest, 2012,June 8.
Liszt II. Rhapsody for piano & orchestra

Recordings with Oravecz György:
[Oravecz György] Liszt: XIV.Hungarian Rhapsody for Piano Solo
[Oravecz György] Liszt: Fantasia on Hungarian Folk Melodies for Piano & Orchestra
[Oravecz György] Liszt: Totentanz for Piano Solo
[Oravecz György] Liszt: Totentanz for Piano & Orchestra

Make Music Part of Your Life Series: Fantasia and Fugue in G minor BWV 542

Gregory Lloyd plays Johann Sebastian Bach, Fantasia and Fugue in G minor BWV 542, Church of Catherine in Stockholm.
Organ: J. L. van den Heuvel

Fantasia 00:00
Fugue 07:30

Recording: Anders Söderlund
Catherine Church: http://www.orgelanders.se/Orgelbilder…

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Make Music Part of Your Life Series: Paul Dukas – The Sorcerer’s Apprentice

Title : The Sorcerer’s Apprentice
Composer : Paul Dukas
Music : Leopold Stokowski (with the Philadelphia Orchestra)

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Mussorgski: “Night on Bald Mountain”, conductor Leopold Stokowski With London Symphony Orchestra-1966.

Night On Bald Mountain is a composition by Modest Mussorgsky that exists in, at least, two versions—a seldom performed 1867 version or a later (1886) and very popular “fantasy for orchestra” arranged by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, A Night on the Bare Mountain (Ночь на лысой горе, Noch’ na lysoy gorye), based on the vocal score of the “Dream Vision of the Peasant Lad” (1880) from The Fair at Sorochyntsi with some revisions, most notably the omission of the choir. There is also a version orchestrated by twentieth-century conductor Leopold Stokowski; this is the version used in the now-classic 1940 Walt Disney animated film Fantasia.

Inspired by Russian literary works and legend, Mussorgsky made a witches’ sabbath the theme of the original tone poem, completed on 23 June 1867 (St. John’s Eve). St. John’s Night on the Bare Mountain and Rimsky-Korsakov’s “musical picture” Sadko (also composed in 1867) share the distinction of being the first tone poems by Russian composers.

As with so much of Mussorgsky’s music, the work had a tortuous compositional history and was arranged after his death in 1881 by his friend and fellow member of The Mighty Handful Rimsky-Korsakov. It was never performed in any form during Mussorgsky’s lifetime. The Rimsky-Korsakov edition premiered in 1886, and has become a concert favorite.

Note on the title: The Russian word “лысая” (lïsaya) literally means “bald”, but is used in this case figuratively for a mountain supposedly barren of trees. In English, the titles A Night on the Bare Mountain or Night on Bald Mountain are used.
(Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Night_on_Bald_Mountain)