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Program Notes

Night on the Bare Mountain

(1867)

Modeste Moussorgsky, composer

Night on the Bare Mountain, originally titled St. John’s Night on the Bare Mountain is known by many to be the orchestral backdrop to Walt Disney’s epoch-making film Fantasia. Written in 1867, the piece is one of many left unfinished by its composer, Modeste Moussorgsky. It was later thoroughly revised and reorchestrated by his contemporary, Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov. The piece recounts St. John’s Eve, which occurs around the time of the summer solstice. Traditionally, this is a night in northern climes when witches gather and hold their sabbath on the slopes on the local mountain.

—Ted Libbey

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