Wednesday, 11 August 2021

Music Assembly: Night on Bald Mountain

Night on Bald Mountain was a 1867 tone poem, whatever that is, by 19th Century Russian composer Modest Mussorgsky. I like the idea that, somewhere out there, another composer labours unsuccessfully under the name of Boastful Mussorgsky, but let's not get sidetracked. Mussorgsky's work was not a success, and was never performed publicly during his lifetime... which makes what happened next more surprising. Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov re-arranged Bald Mountain in 1886, five years after Mussorgsky's death, and it is that arrangement that subsequently became very successful. Fast-forward 54 years and the Rimsky-Korsakov mix was soundtracking the scary bits in Disney's Fantasia.

And you might think that was where I first knowlingly heard today's piece, but you'd be wrong. Instead, I have Maxell and Pete Murphy of Bauhaus fame to thank to introducing me to Night on Bald Mountain (RK remix).

Here it is in context...

...and in full (albeit in two parts), courtesy of the House of Mouse.


  1. It's weird watching that advert again after so many years and remembering how important tape quality was!

    I wonder if Modest Mouse took their name from Mussorgsky?

    1. TDK SA90 for me, until I could afford Sony Metal-XR.

      Good point about Modest Mouse.