A Night On The Bare Mountain by Mussorgsky

Welcome to our new project for the Summer Term- A Night On Bare Mountain by Mussorgsky. It is based on Russian folklore and depicts the night of the 23rd June, also known as St John’s Eve, which, according to popular belief, is the night when evil forces are at work and witches gather on top of the mountain. The music finishes with six chimes ringing out from the church bell. These chimes tell the witches that the sun is coming up, and it is time for them to disappear and they can come back again next year! The music also features in Disney’s 1940s film Fantasia.

1 thought on “A Night On The Bare Mountain by Mussorgsky”

  1. I found out information on our topic:

    Modest Mussorgsky

    Born: March 1839 Toropets, Russia
    Died: March 1881 Saint Petersburg, Russia
    Nationality: Russian

    A Night On The Bare Mountain describes a short story in which St John sees a witches’ Sabbath on the Bald Mountain near Kiev in the old Russian Empire. It’s a wild and terrifying party with lots of dancing but when the church bell chimes at 6 am and the sun comes up the witches vanish.

    Modest Mussorgsky wrote a number of different versions of this pieces of music. When he was finally satisfied with it, his music teacher told him it wasn’t good enough so he put it aside for years. Eventually his friend and fellow composer Rimsky Korsakov re-arranged the music for orchestra and this is the piece we know today.

    You can listen out for unsettled strings with trombones, tuba and bassoons thundering out the theme. The very rhythmic oboes and clarinets are quite a contrast.

    More About Mussorgsky

    Modest Petrovich Mussorgsky was a Russian composer, one of the group known as “The Five”. He was an innovator of Russian music in the romantic period.
    His movies include Boris Godunov.


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