Mussorgsky night on bald mountain

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A Night on Bald Mountain by Modest Petrovich Mussorgsky

Modest Petrovich Mussorgsky (Модест Петрович Мусоргский, 21 March [O.S. 9 March] 1839 – 28 March [O.S. 16 March] 1881) was a Russian composer, one of the group known as The Five. He was an innovator of Russian music in the romantic period. He strove to achieve a uniquely Russian musical identity, often in deliberate defiance of the established conventions of Western music.

Many of his works were inspired by Russian history, Russian folklore, and other national themes. Such works include the opera Boris Godunov, the orchestral tone poem Night on Bald Mountain and the piano suite Pictures at an Exhibition.

For many years Mussorgskys works were mainly known in versions revised or completed by other composers. Many of his most important compositions have posthumously come into their own in their original forms, and some of the original scores are now also available.


The spelling and pronunciation of the composers name has caused some confusion.

The family name derives from a 15th- or 16th-century ancestor, Roman Vasilyevich Monastyryov, who appears in the Velvet Book, the 17th-century genealogy of Russian boyars. Roman Vasilyevich bore the nickname Musorga, and was the grandfather of the first Mussorgsky. The composer could trace his lineage to Rurik, the legendary 9th-century founder of the Russian state.

In Mussorgsky family documents the spelling of the name varies: Musarskiy, Muserskiy, Muserskoy, Musirskoy, Musorskiy, and Musurskiy. The baptismal record gives the composers name as Muserskiy.

In early (up to 1858) letters to Mily Balakirev, the composer signed his name Musorskiy (Мусoрскій).[3] The g made its first appearance in a letter to Balakirev in 1863.[4] Mussorgsky used this new spelling (Мусoргскій, Musorgskiy) to the end of his life, but occasionally reverted to the earlier Musorskiy.[5][6] The addition of the g to the name was likely initiated by the composers elder brother Filaret to obscure the resemblance of the names root to an unsavory Russian word (мусoр (musor) — n. m. debris, rubbish, refuse)

Mussorgsky apparently did not take the new spelling seriously, and played on the rubbish connection in letters to Vladimir Stasov and to Stasovs family, routinely signing his name Musoryanin, roughly garbage-dweller (compare dvoryanin: nobleman).

The first syllable of the name originally received the stress (i.e., MUS-?r-skiy), and does so to this day in Russia and in the composers home district. The mutability of the second-syllable vowel in the versions of the name mentioned above gives evidence that this syllable did not receive the stress.

The addition of the g and the accompanying shift in stress to the second syllable, sometimes described as a Polish variant, was supported by Filaret Mussorgskys descendants until his line ended in the 20th century. Their example was followed by many influential Russians, such as Fyodor Shalyapin, Nikolay Golovanov, and Tikhon Khrennikov, who, perhaps dismayed that the great composers name was reminiscent of garbage, supported the erroneous second-syllable stress that has also become entrenched in the West.

The Western convention of doubling the first s, which is not observed in scholarly literature (e.g., The Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians), likely arose because in many Western European languages a single intervocalic /s/ often becomes voiced to /z/ (as in music), unlike in Slavic languages where it remains unvoiced. Doubling the consonant thus reinforces its voiceless sibilant /s/ sound.
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Mussorgsky - Night on the bare mountain (Bernstein)

MUSSORGSKY – Night on Bald Mountain (arr. Rimsky-Korsakov)

Over time, Modest Mussorgsky has acquired a reputation as the wild man of Russian music — a notion that is understandable if not entirely deserved. It is certainly reinforced by the thundering climaxes and raw emotion we hear in his music. If his compositions are moody and steeped in Russian folk tradition, that description could fit the music of many of his peers. It received its concert premiere in St. In the West, our indelible images of the windswept Bald Mountain are derived from the vivid collaboration between Leopold Stokowski and the Disney studios in the animated classic Fantasia He larded his score with bone chilling elements, including the sinister roll of the bass drum and scary descending phrases that slither like serpents.

Mussorgsky pronounced moo-SORG-skee was part of a group of Russian composers known as the Russian Five that was an innovator of Russian music and promoted a uniquely Russian aesthetic identity. Mussorgsky was the only member of the group, which included Rimsky-Korsakov and Borodin, who never left his native country. Born into wealth and lineage--his landowning family was reputedly descended from the first Russian Ruler, Rurik-- Mussorgsky was sent to officers' school and was groomed to serve in the military, like many of the men in his family. He first received piano lessons at the age of six, and later went to St. His love of music prompted him to start composing, even with limited training; he worked under the tutelage of Balakirev, and produced a few songs, piano pieces and compositional exercises, which gave him enough confidence that in , he left the military in order to devote himself to music. By , Mussorgsky had left Balakirev and was largely teaching himself.

Not until it was used in the penultimate scene of the Walt Disney movie Fantasia did it garner a wider audience. For a Western public, it remains largely associated with that movie and with the celebration of Halloween. Of those three, Mussorgsky alone resisted the establishment and struck out on his own. But he was troubled and began to show signs of alcoholism , to the degree that drinking eventually caused his death just days after his 42nd birthday. At the time of his death, many of his works, including Night on Bald Mountain , were both unpublished and unrevised. Originally titled Ivanova noch na lysoy gore St. The name of St.

Inspired by Russian literary works and legend, Mussorgsky composed a "musical picture", St.
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The frantic, demonic musical thunderbolt has frightened listeners for over a century! Lots of people recognize the piece since it was included in an arranged version by Leopold Stokowski in the film Fantasia. The versions most heard are actually either by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov or the Stokowski. Mussorgsky's original is quite rare! Click to read a biography of Rimsky-Korsakov. The piece actually grew out of several opera projects which Mussorgsky started and stopped, due to laziness or alcohol or both. He finished it completely in 12 days , in a blaze of creativity.

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