Monday, November 16, 2009


Anyone here ever seen Fantasia? I haven't, but I do know about the big black demon on the mountain summoning souls as chilling orchestral music plays. Almost everyone knows about that scene from the movie, Night on Bald Mountain. Well, apparently the original music for the segment was written by a Russian composer by the name of Modest Mussorgsky. The piece as we know it today is an arrangement by Leopold Stokowski based off Mussorgsky's original tone poem St. John's Night on the Bare Mountain. It is apparently about a witches' sabbath. The piece was never played in Mussorgsky's lifetme, and was criticized for it's composition and subsequently rearranged several times, but it became a popular concert tune in 1886 with Nikolay Rimsky-Korsakov's arrangement of the piece, the arrangement that Stokowski would later use to arrange the Disney version.

Chornobog, the demon, comes out as the music starts soft. He reaches out and his shadow extends over the town below as the music becomes more audible. The music winds about with the spirits as they fly to the mountain. The music explodes as Chornobog summons fire from within the mountain. The music develops, twists and turns as the imps and ghosts dance and Chornobog plays with them. Finally the music dies down and bells ring, announcing the coming morning, the demons shrink at the sound of coming light and then flee as sweet music flows from the strings. As they strings die down, Chornobog fades back into the mountain.

Anyway, enjoy the show!

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