Tag Archives: Night on Bald Mountain

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 His transcriptions and editing of works were considered uncoif at the time, a practice that had long since become outdated as printed music became more available, but they are now one of the things he is best-known for, particularly this and his orchestration of Bach’s Toccata en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.

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Mussorgsky “Pictures at an Exhibition” arr: Stokowski: great compositions/performances


Mussorgsky “Pictures at an Exhibition” arr: Stokowski

Modest Mussorgsky – Saint John’s Night on the Bare Mountain (Original score) / Abbado – LSO: great compositions/performances



FROM:   Panagiotis Papadakos  Panagiotis Papadakos

Modest Mussorgsky – Saint John’s Night on the Bare Mountain (Original score) / Abbado – LSO

The original Mussorgsky score (1867) and not the Rimsky Korsakov one (1886).

From wikipedia:
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.[citation needed] 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.[2] The Rimsky-Korsakov edition premiered in 1886, and has become a concert favorite.

Setting:
Russian legend tells of a witches’ sabbath taking place on St. John’s Night (June 23–24) on the Lysa Hora (Bald Mountain), near Kiev.

Program:
The following program is taken from the score: Сбор ведьм, их толки и сплетни (Assembly of the witches, their chatter and gossip) Поезд Сатаны (Cortège of Satan) Чёрная служба, Messe noire (Black service, Black mass) Шабаш (Sabbath)

More details and a variation to this program may be found in a letter written by the composer to Vladimir Nikolsky: “So far as my memory doesn’t deceive me, the witches used to gather on this mountain, gossip, play tricks and await their chief — Satan. On his arrival they, i.e. the witches, formed a circle round the throne on which he sat, in the form of a kid, and sang his praise. When Satan was worked up into a sufficient passion by the witches’ praises, he gave the command for the sabbath, in which he chose for himself the witches who caught his fancy. –So this is what I’ve done.
At the head of my score I’ve put its content:
1. Assembly of the witches, their talk and gossip;
2. Satan’s journey;
3. Obscene praises of Satan; and
4. Sabbath… The form and character of the composition are both Russian and original”.

Modest Mussorgsky – Saint John’s Night on the Bare Mountain (Original score) / Abbado – LSO



The original Mussorgsky score (1867) and not the Rimsky Korsakov one (1886).

From wikipedia:
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.[citation needed] 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.[2] The Rimsky-Korsakov edition premiered in 1886, and has become a concert favorite.

Setting:
Russian legend tells of a witches’ sabbath taking place on St. John’s Night (June 23–24) on the Lysa Hora (Bald Mountain), near Kiev.

Program:
The following program is taken from the score: Сбор ведьм, их толки и сплетни (Assembly of the witches, their chatter and gossip) Поезд Сатаны (Cortège of Satan) Чёрная служба, Messe noire (Black service, Black mass) Шабаш (Sabbath)

More details and a variation to this program may be found in a letter written by the composer to Vladimir Nikolsky: “So far as my memory doesn’t deceive me, the witches used to gather on this mountain, gossip, play tricks and await their chief — Satan. On his arrival they, i.e. the witches, formed a circle round the throne on which he sat, in the form of a kid, and sang his praise. When Satan was worked up into a sufficient passion by the witches’ praises, he gave the command for the sabbath, in which he chose for himself the witches who caught his fancy. –So this is what I’ve done. At the head of my score I’ve put its content: 1. Assembly of the witches, their talk and gossip; 2. Satan’s journey; 3. Obscene praises of Satan; and 4. Sabbath… The form and character of the composition are both Russian and original”.

 

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Mussorgsky – Night On Bald Mountain


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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)